Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery will be hosting a meeting on Wednesday, August 6th, 2008 at 5pm CST to discuss the movement and importance of reconnecting children with nature, particularly in regards to health benefits. The meeting will take place in the Visitor/Environmental Education Center auditorium.
The meeting was organized in response to a growing body of research shows that nature is essentially good for children. Per the Children and Nature Network (http://www.childrenandnature.org
), the site serves as a focal point for gathering, studying and informing others of the need to better connect today’s children with nature.
Whether it concerns citing author Richard Louv, author or the landmark book, “Last Child in the Woods” or publishing various research on the topic, the site seeks to remind us that “in the past 20 to 30 years, without most of us realizing what was happening, lifestyle changes have accumulated with powerful and pervasive detrimental effects on children.
Obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder, impaired social skills and even what some, including Richard Louv, are calling a ‘culture of depression’ are adding to the stress levels and severely impacting our young. Those are physical and psycho-social characteristics of the changes. And then there is moreŚless time outdoors, more time with electronic technology, little free and unstructured time, and even a 30% decrease in bicycle riding…”
During the meeting, the hatchery will serve as host for two speakers: Jane Eller, Executive Director for the Kentucky Environmental Education Council and Margaret Riggs, PhD, Epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Each will speak on the research correlating the positive health benefits of connecting kids with nature along with ways to better connect children with the outdoors.
Any interested individual, such as local teachers, physicians, parks and recreation professionals, parents, public service officials, health department personnel, are invited and highly encouraged to attend the meeting. Along with hearing from each speaker, there will be time at the end of the meeting for questions and answers.
For more information on the subject of connecting children with nature, please visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Children and Nature” site at the following: http://www.fws.gov/children/backtonature.html
. For further details for the August 6th meeting, please contact Environmental Education/Outreach Specialist Amanda G. Patrick at 270-343-3797 or via email at: Amanda_Patrick@fws.gov