The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) just released its impressive 2016 Annual Report on the progress that has been made in its ten years of building a movement to reconnect children with nature. C&NN was founded in response to a call to action from Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Published in 2005, the book brought attention to the fact that today’s children spend less time in nature than any generation in human history, and it is having a negative impact on their physical, mental, emotional health. The book also presented research that confirms the benefits of play and learning in nature. The Children & Nature Network reports astonishing progress in building a movement to reconnect children with nature, including:
- The creation of a Research Library with over 500 peer reviewed articles related to the topic;
- Publication of a series of infographics to communicate what the research says about the impact of nature on children and families;
- Publication of a report on Green Schoolyards for Healthy Communities to advance schoolyards that “enhance children’s physical and mental health, socio-emotional development and academic success”;
- Reaching 225,000 people per month via its website and social media;
- Hosting a convention which, in only its third year, attracted over 700 attendees from 18 countries;
- Building a partnership with the National League of Cities to identify successful strategies for cities to connect children with nature.
Leave No Child Inside – Greater Cincinnati applauds the Children & Nature Network for all of its achievements. Without the curated research, we would not exist. The publications and support materials they provide free of charge to grassroots initiatives like ours make our work possible. Most recently this can be seen on our website’s Learn Outside page, where our work with local schools is built upon the research-based academic benefits of the outdoor classroom. Thank you, Children & Nature Network!