Personal ActionOpportunity for the individual to make a difference
photo © Jon Beard
By making a commitment to getting your kids unplugged and out in nature, you are taking action to improving their health and wellness. Similarly, by supporting your community in advancing programs to increasing children and families’ access to the natural world, you are adding your voice to the children and nature movement. [more link]
What does personal action look like? Here are a few examples from the children and nature movement.
Ron and Janice Swaisgood are self-described outdoor addicts. Their first son was named for the trail where they took their first hike together. Ron and Janice made a decision to take personal action when they decided to share their love of family time in nature with others by creating a Family Nature Club in their suburban area of San Diego, CA. As Ron has written of their experience with the club families, “Mostly, we invite families to join us as we explore our favorite nature spots around San Diego. We get them organized. We show them the cool places to go. We get nature back on their calendar, literally.” To date, the Swaisgood’s Family Nature Club has over 1,000 member families, which Ron credits to Janice’s personal action and passion for organizing and motivating families to get out and connect with nature, while enjoying time with other families from the community.
[+] read their blog post
CJ Goulding is a Natural Leader who recognized early in his career as an environmental educator that part of his role was to bridge a gap between two worlds. As an African American, he saw himself on a bridge between his neighborhood upbringing where a pair of sneakers held a higher value than just about anything, and his current world of exploring through traveling, hiking, canoeing or just spending time outdoors. In his own words, CJ blogged about a point early in his career when, beginning an outdoor excursion, he was the “only male African American leader, and quickly learned the importance of setting an example. During that time, I had many conversations with the teenagers on my trips about where I came from, what I was doing living out in nature, and why I chose to do it.” Personal action such as his has a lasting impact on those he meets and leads in the outdoors.
[+] Read his blog post here
James King is a core member of our National Team of Natural Leaders. Based in Atlanta, he is committed to connecting young diverse leaders to the natural world. In a recent article, James observed, “When it comes to a connection with nature, Millennials — the demographic cohort following Generation X — have different interpretations of the outdoors and how their communities engage with nature.” By employing his unique approach, like hosting backyard campouts in the middle of Atlanta, James has captured the attention of Millenials in Atlanta and encouraged every single person he has met to strive for a connection with the natural world.
[+] read James’ blog post
Living in an urban area of China “where construction sites are endless,” Katie Scott and Boni Jiang struggled to connect their family to nature. With no backyards or nearby parks, their two young sons didn’t experience sitting in the grass, climbing trees or running in the woods. Then Katie discovered our Family Nature Club tool kit and was soon creating a club with neighborhood families. She says, “Our family soon found that natural areas were actually all around us, in other public parks on the edges of the city, in classic Chinese potted and rooftop gardens, not to mention orchards and the terraced rice paddies a little further out of the city.” By taking this personal action, Katie started building a local community group that continues to create opportunities to connect with nature.
[+] read Katie’s blog post
photo © Jon Beard