Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Wisdom of One Place

Photo: child in water © Ashley Turner
This is a good article by Fred First from the Children and Nature Network.

"My brief return to the biology classroom in 2005 after a 17-year absence brought a shocking revelation: the outdoors was an alien and unknown place to my students.

Out of 120 on field trips near campus along Virginia’s New River that semester, only one student could call one of some 50 observed living things by name: poison ivy. Everything else—birds and bushes, wildflowers and vines, insects and fungi—were anonymous strangers. 

That revelation disturbed me. What would become of this place if future generations were so out of touch with the natural world?"  -  Read the full article by Fred First here.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Is a Nature Deficit Depressing Kids?

Courtesy of Primal Docs
As a primary care doc, I find this idea of a nature deficit disorder fascinating because I believe we can’t be healthy in a completely artificial environment, Yet decade after decade, we continue to celebrate the fabrication of an increasingly unnatural world…”  

Read the full post by Cate Shanahan, MD here.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Silent Solo Sit

I really like Riley Hopeman's idea of the silent solo sit.  Quiet moments outside were so important for me as a kid, helping to ground me in the places that I lived, giving me a deep sense of connection.  They made my life more peaceful and meaningful.  Even today, those brief, long-ago moments help me hold onto a childlike optimism that I cherish.

"The silent solo sit is an activity I always incorporate into a teaching week. It provides each individual with the opportunity to connect with the natural world on their own..."
Read Riley Hopeman's full article here.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Midweek Meditation

Photo courtesy Algalita Marine Research Institute

“Nothing could be more salutary at this stage than a little healthy contempt for a plethora of material blessings.” 
 Aldo Leopold 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How Nature Resets Our Minds and Bodies

The Atlantic – March 29, 2013
By Adam Alter

Paoli, Pennsylvania, is a small town with a local suburban hospital. Patients at Paoli Memorial recover in a row of rooms facing a small courtyard. In the early 1980s, a researcher visited the hospital and gathered information about patients who had undergone gallbladder surgery between 1972 and 1981. Gallbladder surgery is routine and generally uncomplicated, but most patients in the 1970s recovered for a week or two before they returned home. Some took longer to recover than others, and the researcher wondered whether subtle differences between the hospital rooms might explain this discrepancy. Some of the rooms on one side of the hospital faced onto a brick wall, whereas others slightly farther down the corridor faced onto a small stand of deciduous trees. Apart from their differing views, the rooms were identical...  Read the full article here.