LEARN | CONNECT | ACT
Updated: 2 hours 32 min ago
MIT’s Senseable City Lab's new project called Treepedia catalogues the density of the tree canopy in 10 global cities. Treepedia uses information from Google Street View to create what it calls the Green View Index—a rating that quantifies how green a street view looks according to the number of trees it contains. The result is one of the most detailed catalogs of urban greenery available.
A program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland is including nature as part of its public health strategy.
SHINE (Stay Healthy in Nature Everyday) is a partnership with the East Bay Regional Park District and the Regional Parks Foundation which aims to encourage more patients, particularly socioeconomically disadvantaged families,
to access the benefits from contact with nature.
Seattle is in the midst of a more than $700 million plan to redesign its waterfront — aiming to evolve the area beyond its shipping and industrial history into a picturesque destination for locals and tourists alike that connects previously separated parts of town. The plan is one of the biggest Seattle has undertaken since the 1962 World’s Fair, and it involves redesigning 26 blocks of the waterfront with active spaces for events like concerts, as well as extensive green space and a connection to the water.
In Downtown Miami, a pop-up park and promenade project, will transform Biscayne Boulevard into a community gathering space through most of January. Parking lots across the city will host the project, which is meant to give the 90,000 residents of downtown and the more than 235,000 who commute there a vibrant place to enjoy nature.
A group of leading authors, educators and child-development experts is calling on the UK government to introduce national guidelines on the use of screens, amid concern about the impact on children’s physical and mental health. In a letter to the Guardian signed by 40 senior figures, the group calls for a minister for children and urges the government to take immediate action, including a kindergarten stage for three- to seven-year-olds emphasizing social and emotional development and outdoor play.
In an effort to encourage more Delaware children to enjoy the outdoors and outdoor-related activity year-round, the Delaware Children in Nature Coalition will highlight an “Outdoor Theme of the Month” beginning in January 2017. The effort will use the Delaware Children in Nature Outdoor Bill of Rights, a list of 10 “Outdoor Rights,” as a template.
Six Manitoba nonprofits have issued a challenge to the public to make new year's resolutions for the planet to protect the environment and to stay active in 2017. Two organizations, A Rocha Pembina Valley Interpretive Centre and Fort Whyte Alive, prescribe a healthy dose of fresh air for the new year. A Rocha is challenging Manitobans to visit a park or green space in each of the four seasons of the year.
A recent study conducted by researchers at Stanford University found that teachers at schools with a Playworks program reported 43 percent less bullying and exclusionary behavior than teachers at schools without the program. Additionally, 85 percent of staff members in Playworks schools say they see fewer conflicts from recess spilling into classroom time at their schools, and 88 percent say they spend less class time resolving conflicts.
A new census from the Land Trust Alliance reveals that U.S. landowners voluntarily protect more land (and water) than all national parks in the lower 48 states. More than 56 million acres of private land in the United States have been voluntarily conserved across the country, an area representing double the size of all land in national parks across the lower 48 states. The report, called the National Land Trust Census, is released every five years, and suggests that public lands serve a key role in the country's conservation portfolio, helping to fill gaps among higher-profile parks and preserves.
A new report finds that young children and teens are losing anywhere from 10 to 14 hours of sleep a week, putting children at risk of stunted physical growth, poor performance at school, anxiety or depression and potential future health problems like obesity. The report emphasizes the benefits of outdoor time in improving a child's sleep, making children more alert during the day, and tired at night.
A major internal case review by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) has found that many children and young people in Ireland, some as young as five years of age, have unlimited and unsupervised access to the internet. The data is based on an internal case review, carried out in July, of the different cyber issues affecting young people and their families that had been encountered by the children's charity in the previous 18 months.
An Australian boy is challenging his peers to pick the outdoors over screens. As part of a school project, 11-year-old Hunter Barrett undertook a three-day screen-free challenge, which inspired a broader 30 Day Nature Play Challenge in Australia. The challenge encourages children to have a #summer2remember by swapping screen time for green time over the holidays.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced more than $350,000 in funding to engage youth and veterans in hands-on conservation projects on public lands from Big Bend National Park in Texas to North Cascades National Park in Washington State. The grants are part of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC), an ongoing national effort to prepare the next generation of outdoor stewards by training and employing thousands of America’s young adults to protect, restore and enhance our nation’s public lands and waters.
President-elect Donald Trump selected Montana congressman Ryan Zinke (R) to serve as secretary for the Department of the Interior, a position that manages natural and cultural resources. If Zinke accepts the job, he would oversee about 20 percent of the country’s public land, some 70,000 employees, and agencies like the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The White House announces an interagency commitment to continue the Every Kid in a Park (EKIP) program for the next five years. EKIP gives fourth graders and their families free access to all of America’s public lands and waters for a full year. Now in the program’s second year, Every Kid in a Park has connected hundreds of thousands of youth across the country to the great outdoors.
Compton and Alaska Native youth leaders from Fresh Tracks Leadership Expeditions joined Compton, CA Mayor Aja Brown and the First Lady of Washington State, Trudi Inslee, at the White House this week as featured participants in the Roundtable on Diversity, Youth & the Outdoors. C&NN leadership also joined the Roundtable, along with other nonprofits, foundations, and corporations focused on programs that use the outdoors as a platform for leadership development.
The House has passed a bill to mark the centennial of the National Park Service (NPS) and expand programming within the department. The bipartisan bill aims to attract private donations to match government spending on National Park projects. The House passed the bill on a unanimous voice vote Tuesday. The legislation will help the Park Service tackle problems like a maintenance backlog and fund infrastructure projects.
Dallas is about to become known as one of America's greenest cities. The city will soon claim America's largest urban nature park with a new “Nature District” that will comprise a staggering 10,000 acres, over 10 times the size of New York's Central Park. The area includes 7,000 acres of an area called the Great Trinity Forest.
The Victoria School in Saskatchewan is one of 110 schools in Canada that has received support for “greener playgrounds” from the Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds (TELG) program. The school received $1,100 from the program for the purchase of seeds, seedlings, tools to support its work with food as a life skill and teaching tool and for the walkway for the wheelchair accessible playground.