Reconnecting children with nature

The Children in Nature Collaborative raises awareness of the issue of children’s health as inextricably linked to play and a relationship to the natural world.


The Children in Nature Collaborative has the potential to transform the experience of our everyday lives. This Collaborative brings together very different individuals and groups to work together to create healthier lives and more vibrant communities.

As we have seen with anti-smoking and recycling campaigns, change can occur rapidly through our common effort. Social and political pressure can create a shift in just one generation to reconnect children with the natural world.

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What You Can Do

There are many possible ways to enhance individual and community health by restoring the bond with nature including:

– Creating more opportunities in our everyday lives for unstructured play or time outside with family and friends

– Developing neighborhoods that encourage outdoor play for children and adults

– Encouraging schools to weave nature experiences into the school day and environment and provide more time for outside unstructured play

– Prescribing nature and including nature therapy and gardens in our community health care systems

– Exploring violence prevention strategies that facilitate nature experiences for offenders

– Preserving open space and natural landscapes in our neighborhoods as a strategy for developing healthy communities

– Creating safe routes and joining with others to walk and bicycle to school and activities

– Taking action to foster policy changes in environmental and city planning issues

– Becoming a member of the Bay Area Children in Nature Collaborative

See our Strategic Plan for a full range of strategies and examples of action that individuals and organizations have taken.

Source:  Children in Nature Collaborative is a project of Earth Island Institute
Director: Mary Roscoe

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Children in Nature Collaborative

Why support Us

Children have few opportunities for unstructured play due to decreased time due to lifestyle changes, environmental barriers, fear, and the rise of electronic media.

Research shows that unstructured time in nature is critical to developing children’s intellectual, social, emotional and creative capacities. Structured activities such as sports, scouts, field trips, and curriculum-driven school gardens play a valuable role, but they cannot replace the brain development and emotional growth that occurs during self-directed play.

The Children and Nature Collaborative formed in response to the growing concern over these issues. Forward thinking and creative individuals and organizations — teachers, parents, farmers, health professionals, environmentalists, businesses, and community leaders — are engaged in a worldwide movement to create a positive impact on the health of children, families, communities, and the Earth.

Help make it happen!

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