Santa Fe, NM (January 1, 2008)- In the United States, Canada and overseas, there is a growing concern among parents, educators, physicians, and others. Children aren’t playing outside much anymore-not even in the back yard or the neighborhood park. This change in our relationship with nature has profound implications for the mental, physical, and spiritual health of future generations- and for the health of the natural world. Young people need opportunities to experience and learn from nature during their growing years in order to become citizens and future decision makers.
In April 2006, the call to Leave No Child Inside resulted in the Children & Nature Network (C&NN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to building the movement to reconnect children and nature.
In October 2007, the American Public Health Association reported, “For public health workers, the effects of sedentary indoor lifestyles are already evident among children: startling rates of obesity, the onset of one-time adult conditions such as diabetes and a shortened life expectancy. Thankfully, though, the movement to reconnect kids with nature has seen a rejuvenation in the last few years, and experts predict that good health will be a major motivator in bringing families back to nature.”
To help meet that challenge, the Children & Nature Network created the C&NN Community Action Guide for local and regional initiatives. The Guide is intended to be a useful tool to help build the children and nature movement at the local and regional level. The Guide describes an action-oriented process to design and implement initiatives to reconnect children and nature. The steps in this Guide are based on proven models that work. It draws upon lessons learned in other civic initiatives, especially throughout the United States and Canada.
Community Nature & Network Community Action Guide
Children and Nature 2008, A Report on the Movement to Reconnect Children to the Natural World