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REI’s #OptOutside Movement Close to 1 Million Mark as Black Friday Approaches

C&NN News - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 3:55pm
Since REI announced it’s #OptOutside campaign for Black Friday, more than 150 other companies, nonprofit organizations and agencies that support state and national parks are also encouraging people to spend Black Friday outside. As Thanksgiving approaches, REI plans to recognize the hundreds of thousands of people and partner organizations that are opting to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family.

At 100, National Park Service Seeks Younger, More Diverse Crowd

C&NN News - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 12:23pm
This year the National Park Service launched a “Find Your Park” campaign as part of a larger effort to attract more diverse visitors. To help meet this challenge, several Minnesota groups are finding ways to connect younger, more diverse populations to national parks.

UMF students collaborate to develop nature-based play area for education program

C&NN News - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 12:08pm
Early Childhood Education students at the University of Maine Farmington are working together to develop a nature-based play area for their education program. The play area will give students the ability to observe how children can develop physically, mentally and emotionally -- all in an outdoor environment using natural elements.

3 Reasons Why You Can’t Ignore the Power of Outdoor Learning

C&NN News - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 10:55am
Outdoor learning is a powerful way to engage students in the educational experience and to foster a greater appreciation for the natural world. T. R. Dunlap is a research assistant for George Washington University shares the top three reasons why you should embrace outdoor learning.

Nature Boosts the Health of Both Mind and Body

C&NN News - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 11:58am
The international movement is going strong in Ireland. Next week experts from environmental and health sectors are coming together at the Delivering Health Through The Environment conference in Belfast, Ireland. Their main goal is to pass policies that promote nature experiences to improve the mental and physical health of Irish citizens.

Kids in Day Care Need More Outdoor Play Time

C&NN News - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 11:42am
A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests that preschoolers in child care centers do not get enough time outdoors. It showed that only 3 in 10 children in full-day child care programs got at least 60 minutes of outdoor recess and showed that 32% of children spent no time outdoors at all.

NI Children ‘Disconnected from Nature’

C&NN News - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 11:30am
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) of Northern Ireland recently conducted a survey of 2,400 children. It found that 75% of children in Northern Ireland are not as connected to nature as they should be. Children who were more connected to nature showed higher ranks in health and well-being – a link that RSPB feels cannot be ignored.

Inspired by REI, California State Parks Free on Black Friday

C&NN News - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 10:57am
Inspired by REI's announcement about being closed on the day after Thanksgiving, Save the Redwoods League is sponsoring free admission to 49 participating California redwood state parks on Nov. 27. Guests simply have to download a pass and present it at the park. California has the largest state park system in the United States. Minnesota state parks also are offering the same deal at 76 of its parks.

Global Humanitarian Entertainer Aaron Ableman to Kick Off First European Tour

C&NN News - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 9:08pm
Award-winning, highly-acclaimed, humanitarian artist, actor and author, Aaron Ableman, is starting a month-long musical tour of Europe, to raise awareness of major causes, including reforesting schools and communities worldwide, and how youth and families can address climate change through everyday actions.

Canadian Museum of Nature Announces Winners of 2015 National Nature Inspiration Awards

C&NN News - Wed, 11/11/2015 - 5:50pm
Last week the Canadian Museum of Nature announced winners of 2015 National Nature Inspiration Awards. These awards started in 2014 inaugurated as a way to recognize individuals, groups and organizations whose leadership, innovation and creativity connect Canadians with nature and the natural world.

Outdoor Living Classroom Constantly Evolves to Bring Children Closer to Nature

C&NN News - Wed, 11/11/2015 - 4:13pm
Students at Hedge School in Carlow, Ireland grow food and cook outside while learning about ecosystems, climate and the different seasons in. AP+E, an international architecture studio, designed Hedge School's award winning pavilion as well as created a year-round planting design with minimal maintenance.

Community Gardens Can Improve Your Mental Health, Study Shows

C&NN News - Wed, 11/11/2015 - 3:57pm
According to a new study conducted by researchers as Westminster and Essex University in the U.K., those who garden at least 30 minutes a day have lower body-mass indexes, higher self-esteem, better moods and lower stress than their non-gardening counterparts.

Breathing New Life into Cities

C&NN News - Tue, 11/10/2015 - 5:57pm
Within 35 years it is estimated that 6 billion people will live in cities, equivalent to the world’s entire population in the year 2000. Pascal Mittermaier shares the work that The Nature Conservancy's Global Cities Program is doing to connect city dwellers to nature.

Aberdeen Pre-School Nursery Invests £250,000 in Outdoor Learning

C&NN News - Fri, 11/06/2015 - 10:20am
Clockwork Pre-School Nursery, a pre-school in Aberdeen, Scotland, recently invested £250,000 in equipment to facilitate additional outdoor play. The nursery is playing an important role in the international children and nature movement by helping Scotland to become one of the few countries to explicitly include outdoor environments to deliver educational curriculum.

Students Benefit from Learning Outdoors

C&NN News - Thu, 11/05/2015 - 4:19pm
Students at Ames High School in Iowa have the opportunity to learn outside. Inspired by Richard Louv, three teachers teach 62 seniors an integrated capstone project to learn about environmental science, English, U.S. Government and sociology.

Natural Playground Encourages Kids to Experiment

C&NN News - Thu, 11/05/2015 - 4:07pm
Families in Ontario, Canada are excited for a new Bible Hill Recreation Park. With matched funding from an ACOA Canada 150 grant, Bible Hill parks and recreation are building natural climbing structures as well as a space for parents to hang out.

Austin Schoolyard Renovation Has Students Thinking Healthy

C&NN News - Thu, 11/05/2015 - 4:01pm
Thanks to a $1.5 million grant funded by Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Department of Water Management and the Healthy Schools Campaign, the George Leland Elementary transformed their schoolyard to include a track, jungle gym, a flower garden, vegetable garden and play mounds.

Mayor Coleman Hosting Leadership Academy Near Fort Snelling

C&NN News - Thu, 10/29/2015 - 12:23pm
On Wednesday, October 28, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman kicked off the National League of Cities and Children & Nature Network’s Connecting Children to Nature Leadership Academy where participants from eight of sixteen selected cities will work with national experts, attend workshops, conduct field visits and engage in peer learning with city leaders from across the country.

REI Closing on Black Friday for 1st time in Push to #OptOutside

C&NN News - Tue, 10/27/2015 - 12:00pm
REI, the nation’s largest consumer co-op and specialty outdoor retailer, hopes to convince consumers to start a new Black Friday tradition, one that doesn't involve buying anything. REI is closing all stores, distribution centers and headquarters on November 27, 2015 and paying all of its employees to be outdoors instead.

REI Closing its Doors on Black Friday – Invites Nation to OptOutside

C&NN News - Tue, 10/27/2015 - 11:42am
REI, the nation’s largest consumer co-op and specialty outdoor retailer, has announced plans to close its doors on Black Friday (November 27) at all retail locations, headquarters and distribution centers. Instead of reporting to work, the co-op is paying its 12,000 employees so they can do what they love most – be outside.