About the Author

Richard Louv is Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Children & Nature Network, an organization supporting the international movement to connect children, their families and their communities to the natural world. He is the author of ten books, including "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder," "The Nature Principle," and "Vitamin N." His newest book is "Our Wild Calling: How Connecting to Animals Can Transform Our Lives — and Save Theirs." In 2008, he was awarded the Audubon Medal. He speaks frequently around the country and internationally.

Welcome to a happy cause. Many of us believe it’s time for a New Nature Movement, one that includes but goes beyond traditional environmentalism – one that connects children and adults to the natural world. Here are a few examples for how to apply the Nature Principle where we live, work, learn and play. A much longer list is available here.

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Becoming a Citizen Naturalist

  • The Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers the Celebrate Urban Birds program in English and Spanish, focusing on species often found in urban neighborhoods.
  • In King County, Washington, the Native Plant Salvage Program sponsors “plant salvagers” who save native plants threatened by development.

Knowing Who You Are by Knowing
Where You Are

  • Exploring a Sense of Place provides the means by which people anywhere on Earth can reconnect to the natural world where they live. ESP offers leadership training and local courses in several bioregions around the U.S. and abroad.
  • Planet Drum Foundation, sponsors publications, speakers, and workshops to help start new bioregional groups and encourages local organizations and individuals to find ways to live within the natural confines of bioregions.

Creating Restorative Homes & Gardens

Creating a “natural health care system”

  • The Prescription Trails program was launched in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in an effort to fight the high rate of diabetes there, and is partially funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • International Community for Ecopsychology serves as a link for those interested in this topic. The organization’s journal, Gatherings, is a good starting point.

Developing Restorative Neighborhoods and Cities

  •  Biophilic Cities Project, an international research initiative organized by Tim Beatley at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture.
  • The Center for Whole Communities aims to create a more just, balanced and healthy world by exploring, honoring, and deepening the connections among land, people and community.
  • The Natural Learning Initiative works to naturalize early childhood neighborhood play and learning environments, as part of the Institute of Medicine Task Force policy strategy on preventing childhood obesity.

Becoming New Agrarians

  • The Quivira Coaltion brings together ranchers and environmentalists to foster ecological, economic and social health on Western landscapes through education and public and private land stewardship.
  • Your Backyard Farmer, an innovative approach to community-supported agriculture through urban backyard farming.

Creating Restorative Schools

  • C&NN’s Natural Teachers Network offers a connection point, as well as updated research and tools, to educators of all kinds who connect their students, parents and other teachers to the natural world.
  • Green Teacher magazine, available in English, Spanish, and French. Also, the Learning with Nature Idea Book, published by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Strengthening Families Through Nature

Applying the Nature Principle in Business

  • The Biomimicry Institute promotes learning from and then emulating natural forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more sustainable and healthier human technologies and designs.
  • Green for All works nationally to build a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.

These are samples from a more extensive Field Guide to the New Nature Movement which includes over 120 resources drawn largely from “The Nature Principle” and “Last Child in the Woods.” The resource guide will be updated from time to time. It’s a work in progress. Naturally.

And, of course, the Children &Nature Network provides hundreds of examples of how to get involved, with tools to help you do that.


Richard Louv is Chairman Emeritus of The Children and Nature Network and the author of THE NATURE PRINCIPLE: Reconnecting with Life in a Digital Age and LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.


Photo: by R.L., taken at a Santa Barbara nature preschool



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    • Richard Louv

      Many thanks for the info. Will replace the link now.

  1. I have always been a nature nut, we still have about 50 acres of native prairie while alot of the bits of prairie around us is being cultivated. I have always been interested in having children learn about the outside. I majored in agricultural biology so completed alot of botany classes. We have a empty school in town and this could be something that would put it back into use. Kids, the environment and putting an empty building into use, trouble is I am just me and where do you start?? Sound feasible??

    • Richard Louv

      It does sound feasible, but a big undertaking. I’d suggest scouring the C&NN site as well as participating in C&NN Connect in order to learn about similar projects, and even connect with some of the folks doing them. Sounds like a great idea!

  2. These are great. Thank you.

  3. Wow! These are great selections. I’m interested in the restoration of gardens but I think that for a stronger and wider advocacy, the restoration of schools and neighborhoods can be a good field for us to be involved in.

  4. We do live with our 2 kids on a wilderness farm in Canada (BC) with vegetable (more and more permaculture) gardens, sheep, Lama,horses, chickens, cats and guardian dogs. We live very remote and there is always lots of very satisfying outside work to do.
    I grew up in the city myself but became a biologist who worked in nature conservation for many years. Later on I also graduated in health psychology because I realized that humans need to heal first, with the help of nature, before nature can be healed and be sustained.
    Nature is healing. Old traditions and ways of life need to be revived.
    We are open to invite families with kids to share live in/with nature with us, for a period of time of permanently.
    Now I am also a farmer but I continue to do research in this – my life’s – subject.

  5. Thanks Richard – some great ideas. I like the prescriptive trails one – that has the cogs of my brain turning. I could see that working really well in our area. Sharon, Australia.



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