Information about the Movement

Launch of a movement

In 2005, the publication of Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, launched an international movement. The importance of connecting with nature and outdoor play to our youth’s health strikes a chord in most everyone, bringing back childhood memories with it. This movement has gained incredible momentum in a short period of time with state coalitions, regional campaigns and local grassroots initiatives forming all over the country and world.

“The movement to reconnect children to the natural world has arisen quickly, spontaneously, and across the usual social, political, and economic dividing lines.”
— Orion magazine, March/April 2007

Children and Nature network

The Children and Nature Network enables the people and organizations forming the nationwide movement to learn from each other through shared resources instead of reinventing the wheel. It offers parents, youth, civic leaders, educators and health-care providers access to the latest news and research in this field as well as practical advice, including ways to apply newfound knowledge at home, at school, in work environments, and in the community. It also provides inspiration through shared initiatives and success stories.

No child left inside coalition

Representing over 47.5 million Americans, the NCLI Coalition has over 1,000 member groups who believe that young people should receive a strong education about their natural world. The Coalition’s focus is passage of the federal No Child Left Inside Act. On September 18, 2008 the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the act by a bi-partisan vote of 293 to 109. If passed in the Senate, this legislation would authorize major new funding for states to provide high-quality, environmental instruction. Funds would support outdoor learning activities both at school and in non-formal environmental education centers, teacher training, and the creation of state environmental literacy plans.

Green hour: The parents place for nature, play and learning

The National Wildlife Federation recommends that parents give their kids a “Green Hour” every day, a time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world. This can take place in a garden, a backyard, the park down the street, or any place that provides safe and accessible green spaces where children can learn and play.

To give parents and caregivers the information, tools, and inspiration to get their kids – and themselves – outside, NWF has created greenhour.org, a website which provides a weekly parenting publication, rich in family-friendly content. Greenhour.org also hosts a supportive virtual community where families can learn, explore, and share their outdoor experiences and backyard adventures.

For more info on national movement:

Michigan No Child Left Inside Coalition (NCLI)  www.michncli.org

Children & Nature Network (C&NN)  www.childrenandnature.org

National Wildlife Federation (NWF)  www.greenhour.org

National Environmental Education Foundation www.neefusa.org

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