About the Author

Cheryl Charles, Ph.D., is co-founder, President and CEO Emerita of the Children & Nature Network (C&NN). Cheryl is an innovator, entrepreneur, author, and educator who is among those instrumental in developing the worldwide movement to reconnect children and nature. She is the former founding national director of Project Learning Tree and Project WILD, the two most widely used environment education programs for K-12 educators in North America. She speaks internationally about the benefits of nature to children.

CHILDREN AND NATURE WORLDWIDE: A Shared Vision

Imagine a world—a world in which all children experience nature in their everyday lives. All children, throughout the world. Everywhere, every day. That is the vision of the children and nature movement. Our shared vision. We are the children and nature movement, and so are you. That statement is being translated into languages and cultures from continent to continent, country to country, city to city, neighborhood to neighborhood, village to village, throughout the world. So is, “I am the children and nature movement, and so are you.” Each of us can go outdoors in nature with a child or youth. All of us can inspire and create the children and nature movement, and our actions are needed, urgently. It takes all of us, and each of us as individuals, to take our own personal steps to connect with nature, to help connect others, and to spread the word. We have within reach the hope and capacity to reverse the trends of the past 30 years in which so many people—of all ages—have become sedentary, isolated, and disconnected from the benefits, beauty and bounty of nature’s gifts. PastedGraphic-3

The Children & Nature Network is a friend and resource in this worldwide effort. We are fueling the movement, along with each of you and others.

While the Children & Nature Network has always been focused on the need to reconnect all children with nature, we are expanding our efforts internationally. Since C&NN’s founding in 2006, people from countries from throughout the world have reached out to us—asking for encouragement, sharing stories, providing inspiration. We have heard from people in more than 160 nations, and today there are people from 76 countries actively engaged in our online community, C&NN Connect, at www.childrenandnature.ning.com. In 2012, we were among those who were instrumental in supporting the passage of a resolution at the World Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) affirming every child’s RIGHT to nature in their lives. We have written about the need, we have organized research and made it available, we have developed tool kits for use by others and we have passionately advocated for this cause in all the ways we know how. The next steps in our efforts to nourish this worldwide effort are to translate and make available two powerful resources in multiple languages—Nature Clubs for Families Tool Kit:  Do It Yourself, Do It Now! and Together in Nature:  Pathways to a Stronger, Closer Family. They are now available in Spanish, French and English. By March of 2014, they will also be available in Chinese. The Nature Clubs for Families Tool Kit gives you all the suggestions you need to bring together families in your neighborhood or community for nature-based experiences. You decide how often you want to meet, where and when.  Together in Nature provides some of the reasons that taking children outdoors in nature is good for everyone, and includes simple and engaging ideas for things to do together at every age, from infants to teens. We also have expanded our online directory to make it easier for people from countries throughout the world to register their campaigns, programs, nature clubs for families and other resources.  We have added an international landing page, helping to create a sense of home and family for all of us, wherever we live.

We are actively seeking partners from throughout the world. We know that none of us can reverse these trends entirely on our own.

We can make the changes in our own lives, and in those of our families and friends. To reverse the trend of nature-deficit disorder worldwide, we need to come together as a community of the whole—united together in our commitment to one Earth, one family, where all children experience the birthright of nature’s bounty in their everyday lives. _______ Photo © Mamata Pandya, CEE India See also: Enfants et Nature: Dans le Monde Entier Niños y Naturaleza: Mundial New International Attention to the Forgotten Human Right THINKING LOCALLY as the Children and Nature Movement Grows Globally

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  1. I have recently started a life coaching practice, and find myself conducting most of my sessions in natural areas. The effect on clients is so positive. I would like to develop my practice to include mother and child nature experiences.

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