About the Author

Richard Louv is Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Children & Nature Network, an organization supporting the international movement to connect children, their families and their communities to the natural world. He is the author of eight books, including "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder" and "The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age." In 2008, he was awarded the Audubon Medal.


• You want to reconnect with real life in a virtual age.
• You’re a student who’s decided to build a career connecting people to nature.
• You’re an entrepreneur who wants to build a business connecting people to nature.
• You’re a parent, child or therapist who believes that the family that plays in nature together stays together.
• You’re a biologist, landscape architect or policymaker dedicated to transforming cities into engines of biodiversity and human health.
• You’re someone who understands that all spiritual life begins with a sense of wonder, and that nature is a window into that wonder.

• You hunger for authenticity; you believe in nature’s power to create a deeper sense of personal and regional identity.
• You can be of any race or culture, you can live in an inner-city, suburb or small town, and you see your connection to nature as a birthright.
• You’re a biophilic architect on the cutting edge of green design.
• You’re a nature-smart developer who creates or rebuilds neighborhoods that connect people to nature.
• You’re an urban planner or public health official who believes that creating more nearby nature builds better health, tighter social bonds and a smarter workforce.
• You’re an employer using biophilic design to create a more productive workplace.
• You’re a nature-smart homeowner determined to create a healthier, happier, restorative home, yard and garden.
• You’re a pediatrician or other health care professional who prescribes nature for your young patients and their families.
• You’re helping a hospital, children’s mental health center, nursing home or other health facility encourage healing through nature.
• You’re an ecopsychologist, wilderness therapy professional, nature therapist, camp counselor, docent, or park ranger working as a “park health paraprofessional.”
• You’re a “new agrarian” — an organic farmer or rancher or urban gardener.
• You’re a locavore, dedicated to consuming locally grown food.

• You want to reignite all of your senses.
• You’re a nature-smart teacher who takes your students outside because you understand the power of nature to help them learn.
• You’re an artist, writer, photographer or musician who knows the power of nature to stimulate creativity, and you use your talents to reconnect people to nature.
• You’re an outdoor recreationist who restores nature.
• You’re a citizen naturalist.
• You care about the human relationship with nature, whether you’re liberal, conservative…or other.
• You’re a law enforcement official who believes nature can play a role in crime prevention and prison recidivism.
• You’re an attorney who protects the forgotten human right to our connection to nature and the responsibilities that come with that right.
• You’re a mayor or county official or business leader looking for a new way to envision your region’s future.

• You’re done with despair; you want to create a newer world.
• You’re …

This is a partial list. Where do you see yourself?


Richard Louv
is co-founder and chairman emeritus of The Children & Nature Network and author of eight books, including THE NATURE PRINCIPLE, on which this list is based, and LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS.


Comments (20)

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  1. Linda says:

    A couple of these stad out for meL
    “You’re a nature-smart homeowner determined to create a healthier, happier, restorative home, yard and garden.”

    “You’re an artist, writer, photographer or musician who knows the power of nature to stimulate creativity, and you use your talents to reconnect people to nature.”

    I’m also a grandparent who is working on connecting our grandchildren to nature thru our yard and garden and thru exploration of the natural areas in our region.

  2. Thanks for the inspiring reminder that many, many people are actively connecting others to nature. The Children and Nature movement “is moving” and we have hope.

  3. Ann Glaser says:

    I teach an outdoor education class for parents and their 2-5 year olds. We go out into the wonderful forests of the Northwest, near Seattle, year round. Rain or Shine. I also am lead teacher in an Outdoor Preschool where we gear up for the rain every day. The kids are awe inspiring in their desire to play and enjoy nature, and I get to love my job!

  4. Rick Van Noy says:

    You could name where that picture took place (McAfee’s Knob) without looking at the caption.

  5. John Thielbahr says:

    ……and you are retired looking for a cause, and are concerned about your children and grandchildren, and all children, growing up devoid of a connection with nature because you have wonderful memories of unstructured play outdoors as a child, and those days seem long gone.

  6. I am a homeschooling mom who has built a worldwide community of nature loving families who want to ignite a fire for nature in our children. We connect through the internet and share our nature study adventures whether that is in our own backyard or on family adventures.
    One flower, one tree, one bird at a time we are learning right alongside our children.
    Love this post and the idea. Definitely going to share!

  7. I’m a nature-smart teacher and founded an organization almost 60 years ago to teach ecological principles and connect kids to nature.

  8. Denise Dahn says:

    I especially like the last entry: “done with despair”. That really sums it up. I think the nature movement has to focus on making positive connections with people from all walks of life and celebrating the good things nature brings people. Especially with children — we have to make nature fun again and give them the space and freedom to enjoy it. As an artist/writer, my goal is to get people to take a closer look at the world around them. Hopefully, that will spark their interest, their passion, and ultimately, their will to preserve it.
    Great post!

  9. I see myself in several of the roles described. Locavore, citizen naturalist, “nature-smart” teacher (although I’ve struggled to make that a reality in recent years).

  10. Kay Sales says:

    a landscape architect who is passionate about finding new ways to connect children and nature through play, it’s integral to forging a new generation of carers for the planet.

  11. Elsie Hickey Wilson says:

    For 43 years I taught elementary school is several communities in several states in the USA. The last year I taught before my retirement 7 years ago, I received a new student mid-year from urban Chicago, who had moved to our suburban community, near Madison, Wisconsin. He had come from Chicago on a bus, at night, when he could not see the country-side as they traveled. Soon after his arrival, we had a “field trip” from our small community to a nearby community, and we passed through the countryside as we traveled. My first graders spent the time pointing out to this little new student what he was seeing. He gleefully shouted to me: “Mrs. Wilson, I just saw a real-live cow!” Next, “Mrs. Wilson, I saw a real-live horse!” As we climbed down out of the bus on our arrival, he tugged at my sleeve, excitedly, and said, “Mrs. Wilson, I saw real-live corn, too!” Tearfully, I led my little flock into the school building where our “pen pals” from that school were waiting. That trip was “priceless” for us all! As the year went on, we introduced him to the local Aldo Leopold Nature preserve and several other nature events, as well as daily science on our playground area etc. He told me, yes, he had been to a park, once, in Chicago. His father had taken him there. It was the big event he remembered from his Chicago days.
    I realize this is an extreme case, but I fear, not as extreme as it first appears. There must be thousands of children who had never seen a real-live cow, horse or corn. Thank you for all the work you do to make people aware of this need of our children and adults, as well.

  12. Rich,
    This is a great post! It goes a long way to help people feel connected to a larger vision ~ offering validation, affiliation, and a positive, motivational energy! I know I’ll use it with my patients and students!
    Pat Hasbach

  13. [...] Source : http://www.childrenandnature.org/blog/2012/02/28/youre-part-of-the-new-nature-movement-if/ [...]

  14. Richard Louv says:

    A wonderful story, Elsie. Thanks for sharing it.

  15. Chris says:

    Is that a picture of McAfee’s Knob? I first hiked that when I was a kid…still an avid hiker and still in love with that spot!

  16. After a lifetime studying various forms of medicine, I have learned that having fun deepening our connection to animals and nature can be the most profound therapy of all. So I am happy to say I am part of the new nature movement, now seeking opportunities to “teach the teachers” skills to grow a healing bond. Please let me know if I could be of assistance in any of your programs. It would be lovely to meet you. Keep up the AMAZING work!
    Dr. Penny, Veterinarian & Nature Guide

  17. Richard Louv says:

    Terrific, Dr. Lloyd. Hope you’ll connect with the Children & Nature Network. Getting veterinarians involved is a goal we have yet to explore — but should!

  18. Amy Kilpatric says:

    I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to hear you speak in St. Louis. In the 1990′s I completed my master’s thesis titled “Encouraging Ecophilia: How Our Schools Can Help.” At the time I was working as a Field Science Instructor in a program connected with Washington University. Unfortunately, this program has long since folded but I continue to encourage children to spend time engaged in nature study as an elementary school science teacher. Listening to you speak, and reading “The Nature Principle,” has given me a renewed commitment to my work. As I plan my curriculum for the next school year I will find new and exciting ways to get the children outdoors. Thanks for helping to enlighten us all concernint the growing epidemic of Nature Deficit Disorder.
    Amy Kilpatric
    Science and Nature Teacher
    Community School, Ladue, Missouri

  19. Richard Louv says:

    And thanks so much for all you do.

  20. Robin Long says:

    I’m an environmental science teacher who left the classroom after twenty-four years to explore ways to forge a strong connection between young children and the natural environment. Working with two early childhood teachers we have designed a program called: ‘Kids Afield’ in which we provided our five-and-six-year-old students with digital cameras to deepen their connection to the natural world. We have been surprised and encouraged by the first year of this program and will be presenting the program at the North American Association of Environmental Educator’s Conference in Baltimore this fall. We hope to export our program to a city school district next year if we receive funding.

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