My community has an annual event called Fox Cities Reads. The public libraries of the Fox Cities (Wisconsin) and the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley select an author and title(s) to build a larger sense of community and to promote literacy. Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle by Richard Louv were the selections for this year. Activities for the month-long event included suburban homesteading (community supported agriculture), "the secret life of compost" lecture, bird watching, local bald eagle photographer, Students for Sustainability providing plants for campus or home gardens, nature hikes, geocaching, nature based stories and crafts and organized book discussions.
The event also included presentations by Richard Louv. As a student in Nature Heals: An Introduction to Nature-Based Therapies and to honor Earth Day, I wanted to hear Mr. Louv. It was definitely worth the effort. In an engaging and relaxed manner (and without power point), Mr. Louv well described the benefits of being in nature, referred to the research we have studied in class and urged each of us to act for ourselves and our children for sustainable connections to the natural world.
A core principle he advoctes is "the more high tech we become, the more nature we need." He described the growing reliance in education on electronic technology without balance in the arts and exposure to nature. He advocates for "every dollar spent for the virtual there should be an equal dollar spent for the real (nature)". I think that's a great idea, but it will take a lot of motivated people of all ages to bring that principle to fruition. When it comes to money allocation, its a tough road to travel. Fortunately, we don't have to travel alone and without inspiration.
Initial steps on the road should include reading Richard Louv's books, visiting his website and looking around to see what you could do in your own community. That's where I'm starting.