What Is the New Nature Movement?
The New Nature Movement is a relatively new social movement that is focused on reconnecting people with the natural world. In our modern, fast paced culture we are losing time spent outside and this lack of outside exposure results in serious ramifications to our overall health-both mental, physical, and spiritual. We live in a culture that is prone to fear and this has had a huge impact on child development especially as it relates to letting our children play outside, on their own, and experience the world through their own imaginations inspired by the natural world. As screen time increases, and scheduled activities eat away at our children’s free play time families are finding themselves inside rather than out. There are countless new studies showing the detrimental effects on human society when we move further and further away from our connection to natural world.
In response to these issues a movement has started to push for a dedicated reconnection to nature. Families need to schedule outdoor time for themselves and their children. Schools need to recognize the importance of outdoor play time to healthy, natural child development. We need to know where our food comes from and find ways to teach our children about healthy, fresh food and to make sure ALL children are able to find healthy, fresh food in their communities. We need to push back on our culture of fear and encourage our children to play outside, to explore, to adventure, to take risks within reason so they grow a sense of confidence in themselves. We need to empower our children to simply be. Time spend in nature is healthy. It offers a time for self-reflection, peace, quiet, a time to be open to feeling something bigger than simply thinking about ourselves. These are key elements to developing as a healthy, happy citizen.
The New Nature Movement was started by Richar Louv, the author of the well known book “Last Child In the Woods”. This movement is being supported by the Children and Nature Network; which is a network that was developed “to encourage and support the people and organizations working nationally and internationally to reconnect children, their families, and their communities with the natural world.”(CNN Website) The Children and Nature Network is an excellent resource if you are interested in finding out more about the international effort to reconnect people with nature! For further information about the New Nature Movement follow the New Nature Movement blog from the Children and Nature Network and keep following our stories here at Nature Families!
How Can I Become More Involved in the New Nature Movement?
Thank you for your interest in the movement and don’t shy away from becoming more involved in the movement if you are passionate about the belief that ALL children deserve the right to spend time outside in nature. This movement is a grassroots movement made up of people making small changes in their own communities and in their own families and sharing their passion for nature with others. Remember that often small changes grow and blossom into something greater. Be inspired to be the change you want to see in your own community!
We at Nature Families challenge you to be bold–allow yourself to feel deeply–be passionate about this issue–if this matters to you open your heart to the possibility that you can make a difference! If you believe deeply in these values move beyond belief with ACTION! Start by committing to make one small change in your family or community. Can you spend more time outside with your own family or friends? Can you volunteer at school to support a teacher so they feel more comfortable taking their class outside? Can you help raise money to make sure there are safe, natural spaces for children to play in near your neighborhood? Can you start your own family nature club? Can you advocate for wild spaces in your community or state? Can you support your local farmers market? Can you turn off the TV and take a walk with your kids outside instead? We know you can and you will!
Please share with us your efforts in reconnecting with nature in your community! It is so important to share our stories….your story might just be the story that resonates and inspires someone else to become more involved in the New Nature Movement! Good Luck!