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The New Nature Movement Blog


FEATURED WRITING BY RICHARD LOUV

THE NATURAL ART OF SEEING

Recently, I asked folks to send stories about animals who had changed their lives. Artist Susan McDonnell sent me her story, told through a painting. As an explanation for the painting, here is what she wrote: “In the early 2000s, I lived in a house with a small...
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10 Nature Activities to Help Get Your Family Through the Coronavirus Pandemic

If the coronavirus spreads at the rate that experts believe it will, schools, workplaces and businesses will continue to close. Here’s a thread of silver lining. We’ll have more time for each other and nature. And, at least so far, nature’s always open. Getting...
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VITAMIN N FOR THE SOUL: How Nature Can Nourish the Spirit of Children and Adults

Matthew, my youngest son, once asked me if a connection to a higher power is, in fact, an underutilized sense—one that some people find activated in nature. This is the same son who, when he was five, asked, “Are God and Mother Nature married, or just good friends?”...
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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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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

IT’S TIME TO ACT: Introducing the Youth Outdoor Equity Leadership Grant Program

Dear friends, The Children & Nature Network is listening, reflecting, and asking ourselves what new actions we can take to address the systems of injustice that exist within our organization, in communities where work, and across our movement. The impact of...
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LITTLE ADVENTURES, BIG CONNECTIONS: Inspiring Kids to Explore Nature Virtually

Three weeks ago, life as I knew it was pretty great: every week I got to bring nature connection games, stories and lots of love and silliness to over 400 kiddos in central Ohio. Inspired by Richard Louv, Jon Young, Dave Bauer and many more authors, I had worked my...
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BUCKET FULL OF NATURE: A Fun Indoor Nature Challenge for Families

During the COVID-19 crisis, if you’re experiencing cabin fever and your kids (and you) are climbing (or drawing on) the walls indoors, we’ve got a plan to keep you connected with nature! The mental, physical, social and emotional benefits of regular and meaningful...
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NATURE GOES ON: Rediscovering the Rhythm of Nature in a Crisis

I was bent over the passenger-side front fender of a 2015 Subaru Sunday, trying to swap a burned-out headlight for a replacement that didn’t want to fit. That’s when I heard the distinctive sound. It’s like the call of a flock of geese, but with the reverb turned up....
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NATURAL STEWARDS: Top Activities with Kids that Help Give Back to the Outdoors

Kids are naturally drawn to the outdoors. This fascination provides parents and educators with teaching opportunities to help children care for nature. According to the latest research, spending more time outside promotes more sustainable...
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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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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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