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Studies, Reports & Publications

C&NN’s Research and Studies

Parents and grandparents, friends, family, teachers, physicians and concerned citizens—people want to do what is right and best for children. With that in mind, we at the Children & Nature Network have set out to compile a premier set of research studies to help us all understand what’s best for children’s healthy development.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHILDREN AND NATURE: ABSTRACTS, WITH LINKS TO THE ORIGINAL RESEARCH [+] NEW Research & Studies Vol. 5

NEW and UPDATED HEALTH BENEFITS TO CHILDREN
FROM CONTACT WITH THE OUTDOORS & NATURE

The following is a synthesis of selected research and studies on health benefits. These studies, along with others, were originally published as part of C&NN's five volumes of annotated bibliographies of research and studies listed below. [>] Download PDF

NEW and UPDATED CHILDREN’S CONTACT WITH THE OUTDOORS AND NATURE: A FOCUS ON EDUCATORS AND EDUCATIONAL SETTINGS
The following is a synthesis of selected research and studies that focus on education and educational settings. These studies, along with others, were originally published as part of C&NN's five volumes of annotated bibliographies of research and studies listed below. [>] Download PDF



image2009 Independent Baseline Study
The “American Beliefs Associated with Children’s Nature Experience Opportunities: Development and Application of the EC-NES Scale,” is the first study to establish a baseline measure of the attitudes of the American public concerning the importance of direct experiences in nature for children’s healthy development.[+] Download Now

2009 Grassroots Survey
The second study, C&NN’s Grassroots Survey, developed by the Children & Nature Network’s national Grassroots Leadership Team with independent analysis of the results by professional evaluator, M. Lynette Fleming, Ph.D., provides a baseline measure of the growth of the “children and nature movement” as reported by grassroots leaders and representatives of the more than 70 campaigns working to reconnect children and nature. [+] Download Now



Children’s Nature Deficit:
What We Know – and Don’t Know

by Cheryl Charles, Ph.D., and Richard Louv 
September 2009
A collection of 45 reports and research studies that document a decline in participation in nature-based outdoor activities by many children and youth.
[>] download the report [PDF]



Nature is good for children.

Why do we even need to say something that seems so obvious? In the past 20 to 30 years, without most of us realizing what was happening, lifestyle changes have accumulated with powerful and pervasive detrimental effects on children. Obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder, impaired social skills and even what some, including Richard Louv, are calling a “culture of depression” are adding to the stress levels and severely impacting our young. Those are physical and psycho-social characteristics of the changes. And then there is more—less time outdoors, more time with electronic technology, little free and unstructured time, and even a 30% decrease in bicycle riding!

Well-intended parents drive themselves literally in circles to take their children to and from school, after school activities, sports events, dance class, clubs, church and social events. All of these activities have the potential to be of value, but things are out of balance.

The result? Children have little free time. Their lives are structured, organized, and timed nearly to the minute. When they are home, and could be playing outdoors, they are often tied to electronic umbilica. Technology is not the culprit. Things are out of balance.

As one part of C&NN’s commitment to building a movement to reconnect children and nature, we want everyone to be equipped with facts and resources. To that end, we have created the C&NN Research and Studies feature for the Web site.

These are just a few of the major findings to be found in a review of the research concerning the beneficial effects of the natural environment on children’s health and well-being.

Children are smarter, more cooperative, happier and healthier when they have frequent and varied opportunities for free and unstructured play in the outdoors.

Those of us with the Children & Nature Network think it is important to share these research findings far and wide, so we are delighted to provide C&NN’s Research and Studies, Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Share these summaries, full articles and links with others. Spread the word—nature is good for children.

Cheryl Charles, Ph.D.
President, C&NN
Editor, C&NN Research and Studies

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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