News & Updates: Guest Blogs and Commentary
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Guest Blogs and Commentary from the New Nature Movement

NATURE-BASED LEADERSHIP: Leading from the Heart of Nature

By Cheryl Charles on Aug 24, 2017

Throughout my life, I have been influenced and inspired by direct contact with nature. From formative childhood experiences to acting as the primary focus of my career, nature has nourished my sense of purpose, vitality and conscience. Over the years, with the support of family and colleagues, I have developed what I call “natural guides” to ground my thoughts and actions in ways inspired by lessons from nature. In 2006, when Richard Louv, Amy Pertschuk, Mike Pertschuk, Martin LeBlanc, Marti Erickson and I co-founded the Children & Nature Network (C&NN), we thought about how the natural guides could be applied to growing this worldwide movement to reconnect people, especially children, with nature. We consciously put the ideas to work. Over the years, these guides have been applied not only in the movement to reconnect children with nature, but also in the development and dissemination of leading environment education programs, and, most recently, in a new effort to coalesce this thinking into the emerging field of “nature based leadership.” I’d like to share three of the natural guides (there are more!) here, along with brief insights into how they apply to the children and nature movement. Consider these as examples of the […]  

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GETTING THE KIDS OUTSIDE: Oregon Shares the Secret to Outdoor Education for All

By Rex Burkholder on Aug 16, 2017

Among the many threats to our future, one of the most serious is our citizenry’s declining awareness of our natural world and how it works.  How can we expect young people to care about this amazing world without a chance to experience and learn about the world they live in? By getting muddy, by analyzing water quality, by measuring the height and carbon content of trees. In the famous words of Baba Dioum, “In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” Our ability to solve present and future environmental crises, such as changing climate, the loss of plant and animal species, food insecurity, water resource depletion and soil degradation, all depend upon immersing our children in nature and giving them the tools to understand the forces that govern this planet. Today, kids spend an average of seven hours plus daily in front of a screen and less time outside than ever before. That’s a significant problem because kids who grow up without a connection to the natural world are less likely to be passionate about conservation in their own lives, less likely […]  

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LAST BOYS IN THE WOODS: A Photographer Explores Nature-Deficit Disorder Through Art

By Volkan Kızıltunc on Aug 02, 2017

Volkhan Kızıltunç’s series of photographs entitled “Last Boys in the Woods” was inspired by Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods, and its discussion of nature-deficit disorder. The photos depict urban people in various natural environments. Struck by the series, we wanted to learn more about the artist behind the images and the message he hoped to convey. The following is our interview with Volkhan Kızıltunç. Tell us why you decided to entitle this photography series “Last Boys in the Woods.” In June of 2013 in Turkey, I actively participated in the “Gezi Park Protests,” which began as a protest against the government’s decision to demolish a small park in downtown Istanbul. During those 14 days of the occupation of the park, a group of friends and I began to discuss the idea of our lost connection with nature. Istanbul is a huge city with a population of almost 16 million people. It can sometimes feel as if the whole city is under construction. When everywhere you look are gray concrete buildings and a lack of nature, you can feel emotional pain. For those of us in that group, we understood that the small park (Gezi Park) was our last […]  

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