Monday, February 4, 2013

Love At First Sight: The Children & Nature Network

I'm in love.

The innocent, happy, hearts-rainbows-and-sunshine type of love.

And I blame it all on River Bend Nature Center.  Normally, I get especially dreamy and mushy as I walk the trails of this glorious nature park, but this time I wasn't even there - I was sitting at my computer.

See, River Bend's Facebook page shared a link... and it was amazing.  It was the kind of link that all tree hugging mothers travelling the path toward eco-friendly living want to find.  The kind that helps foster a love of nature in their children.  The kind of site that can produce an irrational state of pleasure in those susceptible to emotional outpourings.

I'm talking about a link to the Children & Nature Network.


C&NN is full of valuable information for a nature loving mom, but that's not it!  It's good for anyone that spends time with youth: Parents, Grandparents, day care providers, teachers, everyone!  It's full of articles, guides, research, free publications...

See?  I told you I was in love.

I discovered the Children & Nature Network yesterday, and I've spent hours poring over the treasures within.  While I was reading in order to gain ideas on how to help facilitate a love for nature in my daughter, I began to realize that everything there could be catered toward any age.

Here are a few examples of what I found on the Children & Nature Network's website:

  • The Leadership section has columns written by the co-founder, Richard Louv, as well as other influential people within the environmental community.
  • The News Center links you to articles from publications such as NBC News, various local newspapers, Yahoo Health, and many more.
  • Research takes you to abstracts with links to actual studies.  These appear to all be done by C&NN itself, but I haven't gone through them all yet, so who knows?
  • Publications is my favorite section.  The C&NN toolkit takes you to downloadable publications created by the Children & Nature Network, so you can do what's intended - get out there - rather than sit staring at the internet for hours in order to make sure you're on top of the information.

Of course, there's a lot more to find than just what is within those main sections, but I want you to go check it out for yourself!  If you work with youth, it's totally worth your effort to view this website.  Heck, even if you don't work with children it will give you valuable insight into your own life.

And really, which one of us isn't a child at heart?

I'm really glad that River Bend alerted me to the existence of this website.  That nature center just keeps doing more and more for me every day!

So go check out the Children & Nature Network.  Explore, and see what treasures you find there.  I mean, come on... it had me kissing my laptop.  It has to be good, right?

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