Reconnecting to Nature
There is broad awareness of, interest in and scientific support for increasing children's exposure to nature. Many efforts are underway nation-wide to create a fundamental societal shift towards increasing the value given to children's need to interact with nature. From formal inclusion in an educational environment to unstructured outdoor play time, the positive effects of increased exposure to nature are being recognized in improved physical, emotional and psychological health, academic performance, and quality of life.
There are many organizations, institutions, agencies, and individuals working passionately at all levels to ensure children have access to nature, whether in an urban, suburban, rural or wilderness setting.
Below are links to help you learn about what Richard Louv called "Nature Deficit Disorder" in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods, and to help you reconnect your child, or yourself to nature.
Children in Nature, New York (CiNNY) Partners
- The State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) strives to educate and train the next generation of environmental thinkers, decision makers and problem solvers through its undergraduate and graduate programs.
- New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) seeks to manage the state’s natural resources and environment in a way that also improves the welfare of the people of the state.
- The Wild Center is committed to providing the public with an opportunity to discover the story of the Adirondacks through its educational outreach.
- Children and Nature Saratoga reconnects children and their families to nature by promoting fun, engaging nature-based activities.
- Children in Nature Network is an excellent collection of information regarding research, initiatives and news regarding reconnecting children with nature.
- New York State Outdoor Education Association (NYSOEA) provides news, events and job postings regarding outdoor and environmental education and interpretive services in New York. On their website you can also find information about their NYS Environmental Literacy Plan.
- North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) provides a look inside the research, advances and careers in the field of environmental education.
- Adirondack Mountain Club is dedicated to balancing the protection and responsible recreational use of the New York State Forest Preserve by providing educational and recreational opportunities for both its members and the public.
Resources for Kids!
- Get outside with Nature Rocks! Using your location, age and the weather, find the perfect outdoor activity to do right now.
- Discover the Forest! Find out how to plan and what to do on our own forest adventure.
- Earn awards, play games, and learn more about our National Parks, Monuments and Historic Sites as a WebRanger!
You don’t have to look far for nature-based recreational and educational opportunities! We got plenty here at the AIC:
- Our 3.6 mile trail system is open-year round to hikers, and seasonal snowshoers and cross country skiers.
- Want to learn about the natural and cultural history of the Adirondacks? Check out our upcoming public programs!
And the opportunities don’t end there. Check out the links below for additional resources to plan your next outdoor adventure:
- Explore the Northern Forest Canoe Trail with a relaxing afternoon paddle, or plan an exciting multi-day trip!
- Have the summer off and looking for some fun? Spend it at a DEC Summer Camp and you’ll be sure to walk away with new experiences, knowledge and friends!