Awhile ago I read a book called ‘Last Child in the Woods’ by Richard Louv that influenced the values I have as a parent, community member and nature fan. The book lays out the unfortunate societal norm that lacks sufficient outdoor time for children that contributes to a number of damaging childhood trends. There is a growing field of study that scientifically supports the need for the human body to be communing with nature on a regular basis. Children are especially sensitive to being ‘nature-deficit’ whether they consciously crave the outdoors or not. Without that connection to nature, children are becoming overweight, unfocused and depressed more than any generation of children in our history.
This book gave me lots of motivation and inspiration on how to keep myself and my children experiencing nature and reaping the benefits of a nature conscious life. I was pleased to find even more organized events and ideals focused on the positive whole-body effects that come from a nature connected life:
- A forum on the physical and mental health benefits of time spent in nature took place in Vancouver, BC (Canada) on September 20-23, 2011. Healthy by Nature was a collaborative effort involving scientists, doctors, community activists, and numerous other knowledgeable individuals. Throughout the event discussions were had around the solid and comprehensive evidence of the benefits from spending time in nature. Specific health benefits and overall well-being are the regular bonuses that are hoped to be achieved by the masses as it becomes habit to be nourished by nature. Networking, setting of future goals and continued activity in a global movement were just some of the outcomes of this combined effort to bring a greater awareness of the nature element in our lives.
- The Children and Nature Network is the hub of tools, resources and inspiration to connect kids, their families and their communities to nature in a fun and intriguing way. The site is filled with personal accounts of loving nature and loads of ideas to get out in the great outdoors.
I could find many more great sites boasting the positive effects of nature and share them here, however, I like reading short and sweet posts, so I won’t go on and on, but I encourage you to find the sites that can grow your connection to nature and show you how beneficial a life in the outdoors is.