“Kids feel nature’s magic."
This was the opening message from Conservation Trust for North Carolina board president John Wilson as he welcomed guests to the region’s first Children and Nature Summit, held May 21 at the N.C. Museum of Natural Science’s Prairie Ridge Ecostation.
Concepts considered at Children and Nature Summit
Brainstorming ways to connect kids with nature
The summit brought together more than 50 leaders from conservation, environmental education, health and wellness, and youth programs to explore ways to get more children outdoors and connected to the natural world.
“Children have a special ability to connect with land, trees, animals, and water.” Wilson said.
Many families, like his own, have difficulty carving out time for unstructured play time outside because of busy schedules that include homework, organized sports, and other activities, he said. Others are captivated by video games, going online or similar technological activities studies indicate that children spend about 50 hours per week “hooked up” to electronic devices.
Others may live in urban areas with limited access to trails and parks. Some parents may not have time to spend outside with their children and aren’t comfortable letting the kids play unsupervised. And many schools have cut outdoor education programs or lack open space for recess.
That’s why CTNC and local land trusts are trying to help families find ways to get their kids back in touch with nature. They’ll reap benefits for their health and well-being. And we believe that land…
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