The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More about nature and children

The following is from USA Weekend. You can read the article in its entirety here.

Mother Nature: Raising healthier kids

Getting your kids back in touch with the great outdoors can improve their health and well-being.

Recess, soccer practice, the neighborhood playground -- all are great avenues for getting our kids up and out. But when it comes to their mental as well as physical well-being, children need something else, something elemental: They need nature.

So says a new school of thought that is gaining notice by children's medical and mental health experts. Supporters assert that, for a child, a deep forest or sprawling parkland can be the best playground ever. Author Richard Louv's groundbreaking book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, has been a catalyst for kick-starting the movement. Louv's new book also gives a name to what he says is a troubling disconnect between today's children and the great outdoors: "nature-deficit disorder."

Blame it on shrinking green space, overscheduling by families -- whatever the reason, the result is limiting the potential of today's young people, Louv says. He brings together anecdotal evidence gathered from years of traveling the United States and talking to kids, as well as the most comprehensive research on nature and its benefits. He concludes that the absence of nature in many children's livesis key when it comes to problems they increasingly face, such as obesity, attention disorders, depression and stress. Louv posits that exposure to nature can help prevent these ills and enhance our children's academic and emotional growth.

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