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E.O. Wilson Explains Why Parks and Nature Are Really Good for Your Brain

C&NN News - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 4:52pm
E.O. Wilson, the famed Harvard biologist and conservationist known for his influential ideas about evolution, shares why spending time in nature is not only good for our health, but for our brains too. Thirty years ago, E.O. Wilson introduced the idea of biophilia, or the innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes, and now analyzes how it is useful in today's world.

Top Projects: Washburn Center for Children

C&NN News - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 2:53pm
Washburn Center for Children needed a bigger location to serve 2,700 children annually. After deciding to move to north Minneapolis, Minnesota, architects built the new space to harvest daylight and pull more natural elements inside. The 2.5 acre site houses gardens, green space, and a brand new whimsical playground.

Outdoor Play Areas Rolled out across South Australia to Promote Nature to Preschoolers

C&NN News - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 1:15pm
Youth in South Australia will now be able to interact with nature thanks to a $6 million Government program. The program will develop 20 new outdoor play areas, five have already been completed and five more are planned for the next year.

Study Proves Farm Dirt Is Beneficial for Children’s Health

C&NN News - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 12:59pm
A new study suggests that children exposed to the protein A20, often found in dirt on farms, tend to develop less allergens. This new research may indicate that aerosol vaccines may have a greater success rate than classic injections.

20 Under 40: Preschool Founder Connects Children with Nature

C&NN News - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 12:38pm
Laura Whittaker is one of Duluth Minnesota’s Top 20 under 40. Whittaker was nominated for the award because she started her own outdoor preschool and is committed to promoting outdoor education.preschools.

Program Challenges Kids to Connect with Nature

C&NN News - Wed, 09/23/2015 - 12:53pm
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker launched Salt Lake City Explore -- a program to challenge local youths and their parents to spend at least 30 minutes a day outdoors for a 30-day period.

Nearsightedness: Myopia Risk Reduced When Kids Play Outdoors More

C&NN News - Wed, 09/23/2015 - 12:13pm
A recent study conducted of 2,000 first graders at 12 Chinese primary schools found that kids who spent more time outside were less likely to develop myopia, otherwise known as nearsightedness. The study evaluated kids over a three year period, with one group engaging in more outdoor time during the school day as well as outside of the classroom.

Outdoor Preschools Bring Affordable Education to Parks

C&NN News - Wed, 09/23/2015 - 12:00pm
Outdoor preschools may be more affordable ways to educate children. Tiny Trees is an organization that has a goal to start 20 new outdoor preschools across the coast of Washington.

Museum of Life and Science to Debut New Outdoor Play Area

C&NN News - Tue, 09/22/2015 - 1:47pm
A new playscape in Durham, North Carolina immerses kids and families into nature. This weekend members of the Museum of Life & Science will be the first to experience Hideaway Woods -- the museum’s newest outdoor playscape. Hideaway Woods features eight treehouses interconnected with slides, bridges and windy staircases

The Nature Cure

C&NN News - Thu, 09/17/2015 - 12:20pm
Ecotherapy is a relatively new form of medicine that borrows from the concept that nature exposure benefits human health. Practitioners warn, though, that nature prescriptions cannot occur only once. In order to experience the full value of ecotherapy, patients need to develop a relationship with nature and give back.

Association of Zoos and Aquariums Awards 44 Nature Play Grants

C&NN News - Thu, 09/17/2015 - 12:09pm
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) announced the recipients of 44 “Nature Play Begins at Your Zoo & Aquarium” grants. Supported by the Disney Conservation Fund,the program is a partnership with the Children & Nature Network, building on their successful Family Nature Club initiative. Nature Play grants provide financial, logistical and creative support.

How Tech Workers Are Turning to the Japanese Practice of ‘Forest Bathing’ to Unplug

C&NN News - Thu, 09/17/2015 - 11:43am
Wilderness Awareness School uses the Japanese practice of forest bathing as a way to encourage adults to unplug from technology. Although primarily working with kids, the wilderness school heard from parents and adults that they needed time outside too. In response, they launched their first ever “Unplug and Recharge in Nature” day.

Urban Blazers Gives Philly Kids a Taste of the Outdoors

C&NN News - Thu, 09/17/2015 - 10:22am
Urban Blazers is a nonprofit that uses outdoor activities to empower Philadelphia’s under-resourced youth community. The nonprofit runs two programs: a classroom mentorship program and a summer experience program. Of the 1,000 participants served so far, 95% have been exposed to brand new experiences.

Kitchener Starts Work on Rugged Playscape for Kids in Huron Natural Area

C&NN News - Thu, 09/10/2015 - 12:38pm
Starting this September, architects in the city of Kitchener will construct a new playscape in Huron Natural Area where kids can let their imaginations run wild in a natural environment. The playscape should be open later this fall, and will have its grand opening next spring.

Risky Outdoor Play Positively Impacts Children’s Health: UBC Study

C&NN News - Thu, 09/10/2015 - 12:19pm
New research, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, by the University of British Columbia and BC Children’s Hospital indicates that risky outdoor play is not only healthy but also encourages creativity, social skills and resilience.

Famed Animator Plans Children’s Nature Retreat in Okinawa isle Forest

C&NN News - Thu, 09/10/2015 - 11:55am
Legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki revealed plans to build a nature sanctuary for kids on Kumejima Island, a remote island in Japan. Spending $2.5 million of his own money, Miyazaki wants the sanctuary to encourage children to appreciate the natural world and develop a closer bond with nature.

Urban Trees Enhance Children’s Brains, Too

C&NN News - Thu, 09/10/2015 - 11:18am
The University of Nebraska and Troy University extend new research on how urban trees impact kids under age 8. They discovered that walks in nature improved reaction times and spatial accuracy in young, healthy, developing brains.

Detroit River Canoeing Events Connect Youth, Families with Nature

C&NN News - Wed, 09/09/2015 - 6:17pm
More than 150 youth and parents in Detroit connected to nature this summer, thanks to a partnership that brought Wilderness Inquiry’s Canoemobile back for a second summer tour.

Kids, Health and the Broadway Oaks

C&NN News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 12:44pm
Kids intrinsically understand how important trees are. During her art camp, Lisa Summers taught children about the importance of trees for our health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, the city has other plans for a row of scarlet oak trees.

Program Encourages Kids to Swap Technology for Play Outdoors

C&NN News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 10:18am
The Nature Play Program in Australia, has started a new initiative to encourage kids to play outside -- the play passport. The passport is filled with activities kids can do outside, ranging from riding bikes to playing in the garden.