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The New Nature Movement Blog


FEATURED WRITING BY RICHARD LOUV

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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ALL CHILDREN NEED NATURE: 12 Questions About Equity & Capacity

The children and nature movement may be more diverse than many others, but it needs even more diversity of ethnicity, culture, abilities and economics. I invite you to join us by becoming a Member of the Children & Nature Network. Your support will help children...
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GOING ON A TECHNO-FAST: Taking a Break from the Virtual World

  On the way out of town, I got the shakes. Well, not the shakes exactly, but I wasn’t a happy pre-camper. My wife, Kathy, and I had committed to four days away from beeping gadgets, ringing phones, sawing neighbors, the on-demand life. It had been too long since...
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THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, GIVE THE GIFT OF THE UNIVERSE: Share it with your family, and with a child who has never seen the stars

Two-thirds of the U.S. population and more than one-half of the European population may have already lost the ability to see the Milky Way with the naked eye. When air pollution and urban domes of artificial light obscure our view of the night sky, our mental and physical health pay a price. Stars or no stars, natural darkness has value; our biological clocks count on it. In this blog post, Richard Louv shares the importance of seeing stars and why it is a great gift to give to ourselves and to our loved ones.

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WHY HIGHER ENTRANCE FEES WILL HURT OUR NATIONAL PARKS: Better Ways to Support Them

The National Parks are called that for a reason. They’re not the Parks for the One Percent. Not just the Parks for People with Cool Gear. Some people say there are too many people visiting the nation’s parks. They argue that increasing entry fees...
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FIRE AND FERMENTATION: Tragedy and Renewal

At first light, my wife Kathy woke up and walked outside to get the paper. She felt a wave of heat and looked up. The sky was amber and black and foul. “Something’s wrong,” she said, shaking my shoulder. Four hours later, we were driving out of...
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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

LEARNING FROM THE PAST: Envisioning a Nature Connected-future For All Children

Is there a special place in nature that you remember and can be transported back to in a split second? Somewhere filled with vivid memories of unsupervised time in the natural world, alone or with a band of children, connecting with animals, and the master of your own...
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CHILDREN AT SERIOUS PLAY: Connecting to the Natural World in an Interactive Nature Space

For kids, play is serious business. It’s not “just about having fun, but taking risks, experimenting, and testing boundaries,” states the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in a recent clinical report called The Power of Play. According to the AAP, play yields all...
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NATURE SENSE: Tuning into Nature’s Operating Manual

Twenty-one years ago I sat at the base of a sugar maple tree. Both of us were bursting. The tree heavy with her seeds and me with a growing womb.  I felt respect for the maple and her innate sense of how and when to shed her perfectly designed helicopter seeds. They...
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BEYOND EARTH DAY: Bringing Indigenous Perspectives into Learning From the Land

This past April, the students and educators of the Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study decided to opt out of Earth Day. For many years, the children at the JICS Lab School celebrated Earth Day with activities such as planting pansies...
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CROSSING CULTURES: Making an “Impossible” Dream Possible

In “Last Child in the Woods,” Richard Louv wrote that we need to reconnect children and nature. We need to move toward biophilic societies, where nature is universal, accessible, on a daily basis for everyone. But to take on this task may at times bring to mind the...
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PLAYGROUND & CHILD REUNION: Addressing Urbanization in India with More Outdoor Play

  Kiran Bir Sethi, a founder of the organization, aProCh, writes of the origins and impact of this school-based project. Kirti Zala, aProCh Project Head, also contributed to the piece.   I have been witness to the last five decades of India not as a...
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BALANCING SCREEN TIME WITH GREEN TIME: Attention Retention Theory Helps Explain Why Nature Play Helps Learning

Nature experiences can be a perfect antidote to the buzzing distraction of modern childhood. After a trip to the forest or the beach, the mind seems reinvigorated. Here’s why. Attention Restoration Theory, first developed by Rachel and Stephen Kaplan, asserts...
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NATURE AS TEACHER: A Transformative Experience

Outside the urban glare of Los Angeles, we found a night sky packed with stars and a still silence interrupted only by the wind’s whisper and the chatter of crickets and frogs. It was different, yet familiar. My father packed little more than a kerosene lamp, a small...
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MAGIC UNDER THE FULL MOON: A Moon Walk Reveals a Natural Classroom

As I rummaged through the drawer of hats and gloves looking for matching pairs, I heard the teakettle whistle in the kitchen, reminding me to make hot chocolate for our thermos. Tonight, our family was going out to play under the full moon. We first started going on...
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THE ARROW HEAD GANG: And the Importance of Social Groups to the Outdoor Play Revival

When you hear the word GANG, what images come to mind? If you think of guns, violence, trouble-making, law-breaking or motorbike riding, then you are like me, and I would imagine many others. Which is why you may also be surprised to hear that my wife and I were over...
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Blog posts from guest writers worldwide sharing their work and ideas to connect children to nature.


NATURE SENSE: Tuning into Nature’s Operating Manual

Twenty-one years ago I sat at the base of a sugar maple tree. Both of us were bursting. The tree heavy with her seeds and me with a growing womb.  I felt respect for the maple and her innate sense of how and when to shed her perfectly designed helicopter seeds. They...

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...

NATURE AS TEACHER: A Transformative Experience

Outside the urban glare of Los Angeles, we found a night sky packed with stars and a still silence interrupted only by the wind’s whisper and the chatter of crickets and frogs. It was different, yet familiar. My father packed little more than a kerosene lamp, a small...
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