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Building a Movement to Reconnect Children & Nature © 2008 1.

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1 Building a Movement to Reconnect Children & Nature © 2008 1

2 Mission The mission of the Children & Nature Network is to build a movement to reconnect children and nature. © 2008 2

3 Shared Vision To create a culture where every child, in every community, has a wide range of opportunities to experience nature directly. © 2008 3

4 Healing the broken bond Healing the broken bond between our young and nature is in everyone’s self- interest, not only because aesthetics or justice demand it, but also because our mental, physical and spiritual health depend upon it. Richard Louv Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder © 2008 4

5 The Book that Launched a Movement © 2008 5

6 What Research Says: The Deficit Children are spending 40 to 65 hours or more a week attached to electronic media. Fewer than 1 in 5 children walk or ride a bike to school. Childhood obesity has increased from 4% in the 1960s to about 20% today. Children have less time for unstructured, creative play in the outdoors than ever before in human history. © 2008 6

7 What Research Says: The Benefits Children are happier, healthier and smarter when they connect with nature. – Happier: Nature play increases self esteem, improves psychological health and reduces stress. Children learn self-discipline and are more cooperative. – Healthier: Nature play improves physical conditioning and reduces obesity. – Smarter: Nature play stimulates creativity and improves problem solving. Children do better in school. © 2008 7

8 Definition of Children and Nature Centered Experiences those that instill wonder and engender curiosity take place in outdoor settings ranging from backyards to neighborhoods to city parks to wilderness take the shape of guided activities as well as unstructured nature play in children’s everyday lives © 2008 8

9 What If? “What if parents, grandparents and kids around the country were to band together to create nature clubs for families? What if this new form of social/nature networking were to spread as quickly as book clubs and Neighborhood Watches did in recent decades? We would be well on our way to true cultural change.” Richard Louv, Chairman, Children & Nature Network © 2008 9

10 Nature Clubs for Families Getting your children and your community of friends and neighbors out into nature is a small but revolutionary step, one that can begin to reverse the current trend of disconnection from the natural world. © 2008 10

11 Children & Nature Network website © 2008 11

12 Natural Families Network ™ Inspire © 2008 12

13 Natural Families Network ™ Inspire Links to Support © 2008 13

14 Natural Families Network ™ Inspire Links to Support List © 2008 14

15 Natural Families Network™ Find out what others are doing Find links to their website, Facebook page, and additional information and local resources © 2008 15

16 Linking One-to-Many C&NN CONNECT Share your stories with everyone in the network, a growing community of hundreds of nature club organizers and other NING network members. © 2008 16

17 Do-It-Yourself Resources In addition to these social networking tools, Natural Families Network ™ members have access to tools, resources and training. © 2008 17

18 © 2008 18

19 A Few Key Benefits of a Family Nature Club can be created in any neighborhood, whether inner city, suburban, or rural, and in any economic setting can be joined or created by any family – single parents, extended families, friends who feel like families this approach can break down key barriers, including fear of strangers, since there is safety in numbers © 2008 19

20 Safety in Numbers Kids In the Valley, Adventuring! established 2007 © 2008 20

21 Kids in the Valley Adventuring “The unknown is no longer a concern. No one will mess with 45 people walking together in the woods!” Chip and Ashley Donahue, KIVA © 2008 21

22 More Benefits! There is the motivation factor – it’s much more likely you and your family are going to show up at a park on Saturday morning if you know there’s another family waiting for you. Shared knowledge: many parents want to give their children the gifts of nature, but they don’t feel they know enough about nature to do so. And, importantly, there is no need to wait for funding. Families can do this themselves and do it now. © 2008 22

23 In Their Own Words © 2008 23

24 “I think the most important thing we can do is build community where we live. Use your backyard, use your park. Everybody can make the community better. And it’s fun!” Kari Svenneby, Active Kids Club © 2008 24

25 “Families bond when they play, talk, and learn in nature. When they discover a new bug or wildflower, they experience a sense of wonder and make memories together on their trail.” Laurel Dodge, Nature Strollers © 2008 25

26 “I have built free-play time into every event. The mixed ages play so beautifully together that I am always holding back tears. I want to invite families to make memories together, to feel peace together, and to know it doesn’t have to cost a dime.” Jodi Hiland, Happy Trails © 2008 26

27 “A lot of what I do is introducing the idea that it’s okay to stay near where you live – that there’s plenty to do right where you live.” Inland Empire Kids Outdoors, Wendy Sparks © 2008 27

28 © 2008 28

29 © 2008 29

30 “You don’t have to wait for a ‘green play’ prescription from your doctor. You can start today with family and friends by opening the door to go outside to explore the wealth of natural adventures right in your own backyard, neighborhood and community.” Cheryl Charles, President and CEO, Children & Nature Network © 2008 30

31 Nature Rocks © 2008 31 © 2008 31

32 Nature Rocks cont’d © 2008 32 © 2008 32

33 Nature Rocks – Guide to starting a club © 2008 33 © 2008 33

34 Find More Ideas at © 2008 34 © 2008 34

35 A fun take-it-with-you resource Nature Circle Cards make it easy and fun for adults to experience nature with children. The cards can be used anywhere – at parties, neighborhood picnics, camping trips, family gatherings, and nature club outings. © 2008 35

36 Nature Circle Cards Hooked On Nature created these cards in partnership with: Children & Nature Network American Camp Association National Wildlife Federation US Fish & Wildlife Service © 2008 36

37 Nature Circle Cards 15 experiences and 15 questions that engage the senses, stimulate creativity and imagination, foster caring and concern for the Earth, and create the space for children and adults to bond with each other and the natural world. © 2008 37

38 Nature Circle Cards A limited number of sets are available at no charge to those who are hosting a workshop. Additional quantities are available. For information on retail/wholesale pricing as well as quantity discounts for those who wish to give them away visit: Quantity discounts for those who wish to give them away © 2008 38

39 Other DIY Resources Passport to Adventure – REI Green Spoken Here – ACA Field Notes From the Future Richard Louv’s blog - The Backyard Revolution “Parent’s Guide to Nature Play” Books and resources listed on C&NN website Online e-course with ACA Others you know about? Let us know about additional resources © 2008 39

40 Get Started Today! Download your Tool Kit at Find out about Nature Circle Cards Explore Nature Rocks Join C&NN Connect Sign up for the C&NN Newsletter Add your club to the C&NN movement map: © 2008 40

41 Click here to add your information Slide for presenter to customize and add their own contact information © 2008 41

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