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Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child-advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit disorder—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, including the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

BookRichard Louv’s book, "Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder", has spurred a national dialogue among educators, health professionals, parents, developers and conservationists.

The updated and expanded edition, published in April 2008, includes a "Field Guide" with 100 practical actions we can take; 35 discussion points for book groups, classrooms, and communities; new and updated research from the U.S. and abroad; and a progress report on the movement.

"Last Child in the Woods" is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. More than just raising an alarm, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways to heal the broken bond—and many are right in our own backyard.

"If you go with long-term significance, my pick for the top story of not only 2009 but also of the 21st Century is the pandemic of Nature Deficit Disorder, a term so aptly coined by Richard Louv in his best-selling outdoor book, Last Child in the Woods...."
— Bill Schneider, NewWest.Net

New on The New Nature Movement

louv Read C&NN's The New Nature Movement featuring recent writings and selected articles by author and C&NN Founding Chairman Richard Louv.

[+] Read the most recent entry:

“A back-to-nature movement to reconnect children with the outdoors is burgeoning nationwide.”
— USA Today, Nov. 2006
“Concerns about long-term consequences—affecting emotional well-being, physical health, learning abilities, environmental consciousness—have spawned a national movement to ‘leave no child inside.’ In recent months, it has been the focus of Capitol Hill hearings, state legislative action, grassroots projects, a U.S. Forest Service initiative to get more children into the woods and a national effort to promote a ‘green hour’ in each day.”
— Washington Post
All of us share a sense of common purpose. We represent many, many others—some we know, and others we have never met. People throughout the world are increasingly connected by a resonance and passion, to create a new common sense for the good health of children today and generations to come.
– Cheryl Charles
“The movement to reconnect children to the natural world has arisen quickly, spontaneously, and across the usual social, political, and economic dividing lines.”
Orion magazine

C&NN Publications

As part of our ongoing efforts to build the movement, the Children & Nature Network has published these resources for leaders, organizers, and participants at the local, national, and international levels:

2010 C&NN Report
[>] Download PDF [2MB]

Children and Nature 2009: A Report on the Movement to Reconnect Children to the Natural World
[>] Download PDF [1.1MB]

C&NN Community Action Guide: Building the Children & Nature Movement from the Ground Up
[>] Download PDF [1.4MB]
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