The New Nature Movement – Columns by Richard Louv


First of two in a series September is back-to-school month, and the chanting begins: Drill, test, lengthen the school day, skip recess, cancel field trips, and by all means discourage free time for (gasp!) self-directed play. Is that approach working, particularly in...

Jerry Schad's Gift of Enthusiasm

In the San Diego bioregion, Jerry Schad has accomplished more than anyone I know to create a deep sense of place. Word now comes that Jerry has final-stage kidney cancer and is in hospice care. When I spent time with him several years ago, what impressed me most was...

The Eye in the Tree

In a recent feature on Orion magazine’s Web site, the editors asked me this question: “Does technology merely distract us from the natural world—or can it help us gaze more intently at its varied forms?” My article, answering that question, is here....

Ten Reasons Children & Adults Need Vitamin N

“I recall my father’s dark tanned neck, creased with lines of dust, as he tilled our garden. I ran ahead of him, pulling rocks and bones and toys from his path.” — The Nature Principle In “Last Child in the Woods,” I focused on why children...

A Boost to Education and an Antidote to Teacher Burnout?

“Connected and honored, natural teachers could inspire other teachers; they could become a galvanizing force within their schools. In the process, they would contribute to their own psychological, physical, and spiritual health.” — The Nature Principle Not long...


Martin Luther King Jr. taught us, by word and example, that any movement — any culture —will fail if it cannot paint a picture of a world that people will want to go to. As others have said, his speech was not called “I Have a Nightmare.” For decades, our culture has...

Jason and the Monster of Mystery Valley

One day, my older son, Jason, announced that there was one more thing he wanted to do before school started. This was a long time ago. As we left the dock, we felt the cool air coming up from the water. Fishing air feels and smells like no other air. It cools your face and gets in under your shirt, and everything is left behind—all work, all worries, all the static of the city.

“Remember last time?” asked Jason, as he let his line out behind the boat. I did. Here, we had seen the strangest sight: at the very end of the lake, violet hills and green pastures and scattered cattle and a little river running through the willows, a valley that seemed to recede from view as we approached. “The closer we get, the farther away it seems,” I had said to him. His eyes had grown wide. The light had turned red and begun to fade. We had turned back.


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