GROWING THE MOVEMENT: Because Every Child Has a Right to Nature

Fourteen years ago, my book Last Child in the Woods introduced the term “nature-deficit disorder.” The term was new, but the trend (of alienation from the natural world) was not. Parents, educators, caregivers had been witnessing childhood move indoors. They wanted to...
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BACK TO THE SCHOOL OF THE FUTURE: The Real Cutting Edge of Education Probably Isn’t What You Think It Is

In recent decades, many of America’s school districts have favored reduced recess, fewer field trips, longer hours sitting at desks, more tests, and more computers, iPads and even video games used as teaching tools in classrooms. Consider what may be...
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WELCOME TO THE NATURAL LIBRARY: The Essential Role of Libraries in Creating Nature-Rich Communities

Libraries exist in every kind of neighborhood; they already serve as community hubs; they’re often supported by Friends groups; they have existing resources (nature books); they’re often more flexible than schools; they’re known for being safe—and they’re a perfect,...
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YOUTH DEVELOPMENT IN NATURE: An Interview with Karen Pittman

Karen J. Pittman is president and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan “action tank” that combines thought leadership on youth development, youth policy, cross-system/cross-sector partnerships and developmental youth practice with...
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TIME FOR A CAMP REVIVAL: The Return of Nature Camps and the Support for Those That Never Went Away

Dear friends, I hope you will join me at the 2019 Children & Nature Network International Conference in Oakland, California, May 16-18, 2019. The conference is anticipated to be the largest gathering of leaders, advocates and activists from the children and nature...
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In 2015, the leaders of the retail outdoor equipment Co-op REI made a big decision. They closed their doors on Black Friday, the biggest day in the global retail calendar. Instead, they encouraged their 12,000 employees to Opt Outside (#OptOutside), to reconnect with...
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GOD AND MOTHER NATURE: Mister Rogers and the Gift of the Honest Self

It’s 1993. Fred Rogers enters a noisy hotel lobby, taking pictures of the people who have come to meet him. You realize that you have lowered the volume of your voice. I look down at my son, Matthew, who had turned 6 on the day before Halloween. Normally ebullient and...
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