Texas Children in Nature
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Urban & Community Forestry

Urban & Community Forestry | Texas Children in Nature | Scoop.it
Reducing the Urban Heat Island effect in Toronto a matter of social justice, experts say. How to help? Planting #trees, installing #greenroofs will help city's most vulnerable populations deal with increased heat conditions.

Via Arbor Day Foundation
TXChildrenInNature's insight:

One of the goals of Texas Children in Nature is to create a greener community by influencing architects, city planners and developers to incorporate more green space into their design.   

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Rx Nature

Rx Nature | Texas Children in Nature | Scoop.it

“Time in nature is not leisure time; it's an essential investment in our children's health." - Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods

 

Imagine a treatment that would improve your mood, make you smarter, keep you healthier and improve your relationships.  How much would you invest in that therapy?  It turns out there is such a thing, and best of all, it’s free.  It’s called “nature.”


Via Deborah McNelis, M.Ed
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Deborah McNelis, M.Ed's curator insight, March 28, 2013 12:51 PM

Can't wait until everyone realizes the importance of this for children's healthy development!

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HIGH SCHOOLERS NEED NATURE, TOO!Why It's Hard to Connect ...

HIGH SCHOOLERS NEED NATURE, TOO!Why It's Hard to Connect ... | Texas Children in Nature | Scoop.it
The New Nature Movement. Field Notes from the Future: Tracking the Movement to Connect People and Nature. Last Child in the Woods & The Nature Principle. "Last Child in the Woods" introduces the concept of ...
TXChildrenInNature's insight:

Often we focus on getting kids "hooked on nature" at a young age. However, we also need to remember that it's important to keep fostering this connection as our children grow older.

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24 new genes linked to nearsighted vision

24 new genes linked to nearsighted vision | Texas Children in Nature | Scoop.it

Nearsightedness—also known as myopia—is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment worldwide, affecting 30 percent of Western populations and up to 80 percent of Asian people. At present, there is no cure.

 

During visual development in childhood and adolescence the eye grows in length, but in people with myopia the eye grows too long. Light entering the eye is then focused in front of the retina rather than on it, resulting in a blurred image.

 

The refractive error can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. But the eye remains longer and the retina is thinner, and could lead to retinal detachment, glaucoma, or macular degeneration, especially with higher degrees of myopia. Myopia is highly heritable, although up to now, little was known about the genetic background.

 

To find the genes responsible, researchers from Europe, Asia, Australia, and the United States analyzed genetic and refractive error data of over 45,000 people from 32 different studies, and found 24 new genes for this trait, and confirmed two previously reported genes.

 

Interestingly, the genes did not show significant differences between the European and Asian groups, despite the higher prevalence among Asian people. The new genes include those which function in brain and eye tissue signaling, the structure of the eye, and eye development. The genes lead to a high risk of myopia and carriers of the high-risk genes had a tenfold increased risk.

 

It was already known that environmental factors, such as reading, lack of outdoor exposure, and a higher level of education can increase the risk of myopia. The condition is more common in people living in urban areas.

An unfavorable combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors appears to be particularly risky for development of myopia. How these environmental factors affect the newly identified genes and cause myopia remains intriguing, and will be further investigated.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
TXChildrenInNature's insight:

Children who spend too much time indoors, with fixed lighting, and too much screen time can actually be damaging thier eyes.  

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Janet Laminack: Master Naturalist program recruiting for training class - Denton Record Chronicle

Janet Laminack: Master Naturalist program recruiting for training class - Denton Record Chronicle | Texas Children in Nature | Scoop.it
Janet Laminack: Master Naturalist program recruiting for training class
Denton Record Chronicle
Related. Janet Laminack.
TXChildrenInNature's insight:

The Texas Master Naturalist program is a great system that empowers volunteers all around the state to help with outdoor education programs. 

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Connecting With Nature Boosts Creativity and Health

Connecting With Nature Boosts Creativity and Health | Texas Children in Nature | Scoop.it
Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle, explains how society can overcome nature-deficit disorder. 

Via Bonnie Bracey Sutton
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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, July 1, 2013 3:53 PM

Linking environment study and benefits.. 

 

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The Public Realm: the Importance of Public Spaces in Our Neighborhoods

The Public Realm: the Importance of Public Spaces in Our Neighborhoods | Texas Children in Nature | Scoop.it

The public realm is once again being understood as a critical element in making cities work for the health and well-being of their citizens. Public health professionals have joined with design professionals and others in recognizing that quality urban design and a well designed public realm are key ingredients for the health and wellness of the community. Richard Louv, in his book, “The Last Child in the Woods,” has given the need for our connection to nature, and the lack of it, a name: “Nature Deficit Disorder.”

 

There is also a growing awareness that the quality of the public realm is a critical element in quality economic development. People want to be in places where they can feel comfortable and enjoy. These spaces can be parks, plazas, and our canyons and even pleasant sidewalks. And they want these things nearby to where they live and work.

 

By Michael Stepner / SDMetro 


Via ddrrnt
TXChildrenInNature's insight:

Creating community spaces is part of the Texas Children in Nature stratigic plan.  There is much to learn from how other states are approaching how ways they are creating more natural spaces in their communities.

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The Child in Nature

A documentary film about Nature Deficit Disorder by Miranda Andersen. The film features an interview with environmental author Richard Louv.
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A documentary about Nature Deficit Disorder.  

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Six Outdoor Education Resources for Parents | Edutopia

Six Outdoor Education Resources for Parents | Edutopia | Texas Children in Nature | Scoop.it
Cure the summertime blues with outdoor education! In this blog, Matt Davis pulls together six of the best outdoor education resources from around the web.
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