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News & Commentary In the News

Outdoor Afro: Busting Stereotypes That Black People Don’t Hike Or Camp

In 2009, Rue Mapp founded Outdoor Afro, an organization that reconnects African Americans to the outdoors. Outdoor Afro uses social media and volunteers to organize outdoor recreational activities for African-Americans all over the country. After just six years there are 30 trained leaders and 7,000 active members in cities across the United States.

Kinder-Garden: Edible Schoolyard NYC Cultivates Young Minds

Edible Schoolyard NYC brings nature and healthy food to the kids who need it most: at underserved, low-income primary and middle schools with high immigrant populations. ESYNYC engages students in gardening and cooking. An average school lesson includes planning a meal, cultivating plants, harvesting, preparing and cooking, eating, and finally composting.

Is Playing Outside A Thing of The Past for Kids in Baton Rouge?

Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center is co-sponsoring a community play program in Baton Rouge called Play Street. The program closes off streets to give children a chance to safely play outdoors where they wouldn’t normally think to do so; connecting the dots between outdoor play and children’s health.

Cleveland Joins Let’s Move! Outside Youth Initiative

First Lady MIchelle Obama and the U.S. Department of Interior selected Cleveland as one of 26 U.S. cities to participate in their Let’s Move Outside youth initiative. The initiative’s goal is to encourage youth to play, learn, serve and work outdoors.

Children ‘Should Play Outside to Save Their Sight’

Dr. Steve Schallhorn, leading refractive eye surgeon, chairman of the Optical Express International Medical Advisory Board and an adviser to Nasa, the FBI and Nato, states that any sort of outdoors exercise would be a major boost for a child’s developing vision.

Shh! Detroit’s Little-Known Success Story: Its Parks Are Getting Better

As Detroit’s economy started to decline, local parks took a backseat to maintenance. That is until a dedicated group of community volunteers rolled up their sleeves to invest time and energy to revamp Detroit’s parks. Now the parks are unrecognizable, but in a good way.

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

Graduate students at Stanford University researched and compared the physiological differences between walking outside in natural settings versus walking in urban areas. The study shows that walking in nature can help us brood and worry less, by decreasing the activity and blood flow to the subgenual prefrontal cortex of our brains.

New Development Incorporates Gardens for Nature Interaction

New housing development, Botanika Nature Residences in the Philippines, will offer lush green spaces and landscapes to help children overcome nature deficit disorder. The development will include an expansive lawn with tree houses, landscaped pathways and specific areas to stimulate children’s minds. The first tower is anticipated to be complete in 2017.

Stephen Kellert: Build Nature into Education

Steven Kellert, former C&NN Board member and professor emeritus and senior research scholar at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in New Haven, is featured in a special issue of Nature this month. In it, he joins other leading design practitioners to explain how nature aids in early child development, and how architecture and play spaces are best engineered for learning.

Why Are Our Parks So White?

National Parks struggle to attract visitors and employees of color or from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. In 2014, 80 percent of park service employees were white. By 2044 the Census Bureau projects that the country will have a majority nonwhite population. Writer Glenn Nelson hopes that the National Park Service is paying attention.

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