Richard Louv

Recipient of the Audubon Medal

Author of the National Bestseller Last Child in the Woods

Blog Posts: December 2016

Celebrating 10 Years of the Children & Nature Network

Click here to help C&NN give the gift of nature to millions of additional kids.

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THE NEW NATURE MOVEMENT, POST 11/8

Photo: Storm over Anza-Borrego Desert, © R.L.

O

ur story – our shared yearning to reconnect children to the natural world – represents one of the few concerns in America that brings people together across partisan and religious lines.

To change a society, as the philosopher Ivan Illich wrote, “you must tell a more powerful tale, one so persuasive that it sweeps away the old myths and becomes the preferred story, one so inclusive that it gathers all the bits of our past and present into a coherent whole, one that even shines some light into our future so that we can take the next step...”
 
So, today, how do we shine that light? We must continue to support the birthright of all children to a healthy environment and a connection to the natural world, and to teach the responsibilities that come with that right.
 
We can work to reduce climate disruption and the biodiversity collapse by opposing policies that destroy people and the rest of nature, and by making the case that human beings protect what they love and love only what they know. More than ever, building a future generation of conservationists will depend on helping children and adults fall in love with the natural world.
 
We can emphasize the healing powers of the natural world: for mental and physical health; for the capacity to learn and create; and for the reduction of violence. We can promote family nature clubs, and similar approaches, as ways to seek meaning and solace in a difficult and alienating time. We can offer Vitamin N for the soul through places of worship. And we can encourage pediatricians, psychologists and other healthcare professionals to prescribe nature.
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