Children and Nature Network

The panel discussion, at the 2009 Parks Conference hosted by Alberta Recreation and Parks Association, on Children and Nature included professionals from a wide range of fields, with each associated in some way with children’s health and exposure to nature. Panelists began with presentations on children’s health, programs for children in parks and some of the environmental education issues facing children in Alberta. 
Thea Moss reflected on the topic of “Nature Deficit Disorder” from the health care sector’s perspective, with a particular emphasis on childhood obesity. She identified actions by which the health and recreation and parks sectors can move forward together to create change for children.
John Kristensen outlined environmental education approaches in Alberta that complement and support parks and protected areas and help ensure the “nature and child reunion” that ARPA is working towards. He described the ACEE-supported provincial Framework to Advance Environmental Education; ACEE’s work on provincial policy, such as the new elementary science curriculum; and summarized results from the 2009 polling that probed Albertans’ support for environmental education and uncovered the barriers they perceive to children spending more time outdoors in nature.
Don Carruthers Den Hoed described the Canadian Parks Council Youth Engagement Working Group’s development of a national strategy and implementation plan for engaging youth in parks, recreation, stewardship and leadership

Publication Date: 
Alberta Recreation and Parks Association