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The New Nature Movement Blog


FEATURED WRITING BY RICHARD LOUV

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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A DOZEN WAYS FAMILIES CAN #OPTOUTSIDE EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR

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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A TREASURE CHEST: What Mothers Leave Behind

My mother, perhaps like yours, gave the gift of nature. I remember her here. The old chest of drawers proved to be a treasure chest. It was a small piece of furniture, perhaps an old washstand, with three drawers. It sat in a storage unit for over a year, and when we...
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DEAR VIRGINIA: On Writing

Dear Virginia, Time has slipped by, and I’ve been meaning to write to you. I met you about a year and a half ago at a conference of environmental educators in Asheville, North Carolina. You were 11 years old then. Your mother had brought you to one of my sermonettes....
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SINGING FOR BEARS: Reclaiming Our Senses, Including Our Sense of Humility

My son Matthew and I were wading up a stream of Alaska’s Kodiak Island. For a second year, Joe, our guide, was teaching us how to sense the presence of Kodiak brown bears, the largest grizzlies — the ones that can run 35 miles per hour, the ones you cannot...
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Richard Louv is our co-founder and best-selling author of the quintessential “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder” and two follow-up books on nature connection, “The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age,” and “Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life.”

GUEST  BLOGGERS

NATURAL DETROIT: Developing Youth Through the Magic of Nature

Let me paint the scene. School’s out! The final bell has rung and kids are flying out of every door at Merriman Elementary School in Romulus, Michigan, rushing home to start their summer adventures. Days prior, my classmates gushed about the vacations their families...
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NATURE CONNECTIONS: How a Summer Camp Helps Kids Connect with Nature and Each Other

Each summer 4,500 kids from the south metro area of the Twin Cities head outdoors. Coming from under-resourced communities, these children and youth will be connecting to nature through the outdoor programming efforts of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. Many of...
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A MILESTONE IN THE STUDY OF NATURE’S BENEFITS: From Intuitive Understanding to Overwhelming Evidence

Thirty years ago, I was a newly hired faculty member in the Department of Special Education at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Many of my graduate students were working as teachers in classrooms with young children with disabilities. Teaching strategies, at...
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HEADING TO THE FOREST: Bringing Joy, Accomplishment & Hope to Children

This is the second installment of a two-part series. In the first part of this article, we visited a nature-based early childhood program in a forest preserve on the western edge of Chicagoland. Here, children found treasure, became pirates, engineered a raft/bridge...
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TOWARDS ECOPHILIA:  Being Hopeful in Spite of It All

This is the first installment of a two-part series. A plague of digitalization is sweeping through American youth, infecting all whom it touches. Teens quake in horror when their cell phones are out of their grasp. Only a regular diet of media stimulation fends off...
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CELEBRA LAS AVES: A New Generation of Bird Enthusiasts in Peru

They left at five o’clock in the morning and traveled all day, sitting in their dugout canoes called peke-peke under the punishing tropical heat. Nearly one thousand Peruvians made the long, hot journey this past September. They were gathering to celebrate rainforest...
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ALL THINGS ARE CONNECTED: How Mayors Are Redefining Nature Connections for Kids

When we think of children and the outdoors, of connecting children to nature, a city landscape is not the first image that comes to mind. But, many mayors across the country hope to change that.  As part of the Cities Connecting Children to Nature Initiative, mayors...
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STRENGTH FROM NATURE: How Growing up in Nature Helped Me Through My Greatest Challenge

I grew up in a town called Scarborough on the southern coast of Maine. Although I was not born here, it’s the only place I remember living. Here, among the balsams and oaks, the sound of coyote puppies howling or tom turkeys attracting a mate, and the plentiful...
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STAGES OF NATURE CONNECTION: Three Steps to Better Health

Agrowing body of research tells us that a connection to nature offers us a host of physical and mental health benefits. Most of us could improve our connection with nature. The good news is that doing so is fun— and simple. Just 30 minutes per day, a couple of...
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The Neighborhood Play Project: A New Play Story Unfolds in Queensland Neighborhoods

In just one generation, the average Australian childhood has shifted from a largely outdoors, active, independent, social, community-orientated play to a mostly indoors, sedentary, technologically immersed, highly structured, fearful and risk-averse play space. The...
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Blog posts from guest writers worldwide sharing their work and ideas to connect children to nature.


TOWARDS ECOPHILIA:  Being Hopeful in Spite of It All

This is the first installment of a two-part series. A plague of digitalization is sweeping through American youth, infecting all whom it touches. Teens quake in horror when their cell phones are out of their grasp. Only a regular diet of media stimulation fends off...

STAGES OF NATURE CONNECTION: Three Steps to Better Health

Agrowing body of research tells us that a connection to nature offers us a host of physical and mental health benefits. Most of us could improve our connection with nature. The good news is that doing so is fun— and simple. Just 30 minutes per day, a couple of...
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