Children & Nature Network

Children & Nature Network

Children & Nature Network (C&NN) was founded in 2006 to address the Nature Deficit Disorder issue raised by Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods. Richard and five other leaders in diverse fields created the nonprofit Children & Nature Network with the initiative to “Leave No Child Inside.1 Their mission was to reconnect children to nature for two purposes: the physical health, cognitive development, and emotional well-being of the child, and the good of the planet.2

Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Children & Nature Network is a networking organization supporting statewide, regional, and local grassroots campaigns to connect children with nature. With over sixty regions involved, they are supporting community events, public awareness campaigns, legislation and policy changes, and advocacy. They also have a C&NN Speakers Bureau that offers experts in the children and nature movement for addressing audiences and conferences.

Through their website, their C&NN Publications, and their annual Gathering of Grassroots Leaders, Children & Nature Network connects research results with educators, individuals, and organizations working with children. They also seek to “shorten the time between awareness and action” through their C&NN Community Action Guide: Building the Children & Nature Movement from the Ground Up.3 And in the education field, Children & Nature Network has an initiative to encourage Natural Teachers who incorporate the natural world in their classrooms.

With these resources and through the partnership of nearly a dozen organizations, such as the Sierra Club, the American Camp Association, and the National Park Trust, Children & Nature Network works to sustain the children and nature movement that has started nationally and internationally. Though this movement involves many organizations, an independent North American survey of these initiatives conducted through Children & Nature Network in 2009 indicated that nearly 70% of the organizations have used or distributed the research and studies that Children & Nature Network has available. Additionally 50% have used C&NN website news summaries, C&NN electronic newsletters, the C&NN Community Action Guide, the C&NN Nature Clubs for Families Tool Kit: Do It Yourself! Do It Now!, and the Report on the Movement to Re-Connect Children with the Natural World produced by C&NN.4

In 2009, Children & Nature Network launched their Natural Leaders Network, a drive to develop young leaders within the children and nature campaign.5 They also have resources, blogs, and the C&NNConnect website for parents and individuals interested in sharing, learning, listening, and leading in the movement, whether with their own families or larger community groups.6 Additionally, C&NN's Nature Rocks program supports families in introducing their children to nature.

  • 1. “Children and Nature 2009: A Report on the Movement to Reconnect Children to the Natural World.” Children & Nature Network. < http://www.childrenandnature.org/downloads/CNNMovement2009.pdf > 7 June 2011.
  • 2. “Children & Nature Network 2010 Report, Introduction.” Children & Nature Network. < http://www.childrenandnature.org/downloads/C&NNReport_2010.pdf > 7 June 2011.
  • 3. Op. cit., “Children and Nature 2009: A Report on the Movement to Reconnect Children to the Natural World.”
  • 4. “Children & Nature Network 2010 Report, Children and Nature Grassroots Initiatives and Campaigns.” Children & Nature Network. < http://www.childrenandnature.org/downloads/C&NNReport_2010.pdf > 7 June 2011.
  • 5. Op. cit., “Children and Nature 2009: A Report on the Movement to Reconnect Children to the Natural World.”
  • 6. “C&NN Connect.” Children & Nature Network. < http://childrenandnature.ning.com/ > 26 June 2011.