The Children & Nature Network ran an Associated Press story briefly noting the stress-reducing and learning-enhancing effects of time in nature for schoolchildren. Here’s a link to an extended version of the story in the Lowell (Massachusetts) Sun. The article reminds us that many park systems, botanical gardens, and nature centers have programs for kids. It’s worth a read. And another piece on the Children and Nature Network site notes that 94% of parents in one survey said that they’d like their children’s schools to help their kids get outside more and discover nature.
As I’ve written in a previous article, “There is nothing as potent as experiencing nature for stimulating children’s imaginations.” Frankly, I think something similar applies to adults as well. We’re going to continue to explore these ideas frequently here on People in Nature. For now, though, check out what programs your local parks department might have, what nature areas may be tucked away in your city or town, or take a walk in the woods with your kids. Nature experiences don’t have to be on a grand scale: you need not plan a trip to a national park or even across town if you have a local park. In fact, just studying the seasonal cycle of a street tree and the animals that might call it home connects kids with nature. The point is just to get out in it.