The White House announced that more than two dozen foundations, companies and nonprofit organizations, including C&NN, have signed on to the President’s Every Kid in a Park initiative, committing to funding trips to America’s national parks and other public lands and waters for nearly half a million 4th grade children. The announcement is just one of many events happening across the country to celebrate National Park Week and the centennial year of the National Park Service.
At the launch event for his new book, “Vitamin N”, C&NN's CoFounder and author, Richard Louv, addressed the challenges of dealing with a world that focuses more on virtual experiences than real ones. Louv issued a challenge to San Diego (and all) city leaders to take action to make cities more nature-rich.
A study published in the journal "Environmental Health Perspectives" found that people who live in “greener” areas, with more vegetation around, have a lower risk of mortality. C&NN board member and dean of the school of public health at the University of Washington, Howard Frumkin, offers insight to the study results, suggesting that “biophilia" might offer an explanation for the effect.
REI is giving $1 million to the 21s Century Conservation Corps, or 21CSC, with the goal of helping to get veterans, urban kids, and at-risk youth working within U.S. National Parks. It is the biggest one-time investment the REI Foundation has ever awarded to a single entity. The 21CSC is a joint venture of public and private organizations that supports a network of more than 30,000 members across the U.S. working to preserve and improve the outdoors.
The city of Madison is working to assess how well local children are connected to nature, and where there are gaps, particularly around equitable access. Madison is one of the seven cities selected for the planning phase through the Cities Connecting Children to Nature initiative. The city has convened several public, non-profit and private institutions to work together to formulate a program to make local outdoor recreation resources more accessible to kids.
To celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service, Amtrak is offering discount train tickets for fourth graders participating in the Every Kid in a Park program. Amtrak is a transportation partner in the White House's Every Kid in a Park initiative.
Disney Conservation Fund launches a new initiative called “Reverse the Decline, Increase the Time,” to reverse the decline of threatened species and increase the time kids spend in nature. C&NN is proud to be among the nonprofits supporting the new initiative.
CBS This Morning takes a look at nature-based learning through the lens of Chattahoochee Hills Charter School (CHCS), outside of Atlanta, where students typically spend one-third of their school day outdoors. Like many nature-based schools, CHCS was inspired by author Richard Louv's "Last Child in the Woods."
Madison, one of the seven cities selected for the planning phase of The Cities Connect Children to Nature initiative, recently brought community members together for its kick-off event to discuss the barriers between kids and nature and a vision for the city in which every child has access to a natural space.
A new approach to the nature-deficit, screen saturation problem? A start up from Spain is using augmented reality (AR) – patching computer imagery on to real life – to transform playgrounds into video games. Reactions from experts are mixed. With some calling it virtual babysitting and others seeing opportunities to inform and inspire children’s sense of adventure and appetite for outdoor play.
Just add water- and bamboo and rocks. A University of British Columbia study of the play behaviors of two to five-years-olds in Canada suggests that bringing natural elements such as sand, grass and water into playgrounds can help reduce signs of depression in children.
Vitamin N (for “nature”) is the latest book out Rich Louv, co-founder of the Children & Nature Network and author of New York Times bestseller that launched the international children-and-nature movement, The Last Child in the Woods. Vitamin N is a complete prescription for connecting with the power and joy of the natural world right now.
Parents, doctors, educators, nature enthusiasts, among others have been concerned that kids aren’t getting outside as much as they should be. In this program on NPR's Diane Rehm show, Diane talks to author Richard Louv, NPS Director, Jon Jarvis and Dr. Robert Zarr about the growing body of scientific evidence to support the claim that the outdoors is good for kids. The piece looks at some creative ways to get kids outside.
The Ministry of Education in Taiwan is encouraging parents to get their children outdoors to help protect their eyesight, as statistics from students’ health examinations last year showed alarming trends of poor eyesight. Research conducted by the administration in 2013 and 2014 showed that participating in outdoor activities for at least 11 hours a week can help reduce the development of nearsightedness and increasing degrees of myopia in children.
The Scandinavian ‘forest school’ model is spreading across the UK as more reports are revealing that British children are among the most housebound and screen addicted in the world.
“Nature pedagogy”, a term coined by educational consultant Claire Warden, goes beyond getting kids fresh air. Education through nature is a way to stimulate authentic, higher order thinking. And now authorities in China and Japan hope to bring nature pedagogy to the workforce to inspire creativity, innovation and leadership of the future.
BBC’s program, Countryfile, about people and stories from the British countryside continues to top ratings. The program’s executive producer suggests that even if “vicarious and indirect” farming and outdoors programming may help some with nature deficit disorder.
A University of Western Australia researcher who has been studying the play habits of young children finds that less than 18 percent of two to five-year-olds get three hours of activity a day. As home sizes continue to grow while outdoor areas shrink, she recommends that parents prioritize outdoor play spaces for children if possible.
Biophilia, a belief system that suggests humans seek more harmonious relationships with nature, is changing trends in building design. Corporate HQs, health care institutions and educational facilities are more frequently taking a design approach that strengthens the connection with nature for better health and wellbeing of humans.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell made a recent trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) to visit with fourth graders and launch the Obama Administration’s Every Kid in a Park program. The Secretary also announced a $25,000 grant to cover transportation costs for USVI public school fourth graders so they can enjoy a day in the park at any USVI National Park location.