Who We Are


Who We Are

In April 2006 Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods, inspired a national movement to reconnect children with nature. Currently over 100 self-organizing initiatives in the form of collaborative, coalitions, alliances and campaigns have formed and are connected through the Children & Nature Network.

In September 2006, a talk by Richard Louv sparked the San Francisco Bay Area movement. The Children in Nature Collaborative was initiated in 2007 to act as a convener and facilitator to inspire and help organize the local grassroots movement. The regional and national partners include teachers, parents, farmers, health professionals, environmentalists, businesses, faith-based groups and community leaders.

A Strategic Plan for the Children in Nature Collaborative was completed in early 2009. Thirteen strategies are grouped into six strategy areas: forming collaborations, sharing resources, implementing projects and events, creating and adapting environments, growing the Collaborative, and spreading the message. The strategies are implemented through organizations and individuals working across sectors in collaborative or independent self-organizing projects. 

Our Mission

The mission of the Children in Nature Collaborative is to work together to restore children’s relationship with nature.

Our Goals

The goals of the Children in Nature Collaborative are to:

  • Raise awareness of the physical, emotional, and spiritual health benefits of connecting children with nature.
  • Promote unstructured play and time in nature for children and adults
  • Engage a diverse network of people and facilitate collaborations.
  • Participate with other children and nature initiatives — regional, state, national, and international.

Guiding Principles

Connection: Nature provides an opportunity to deepen our relationship to our self, each other, and our environment.

Respect: Learning to respect nature and others is fundamental for our well-being, the wellness of others and the Earth as a whole.

Access: To engage and connect to nature, all children and families need access to information, resources, and developmentally appropriate activities.

Nature as Teacher and Nurturer: Children need the opportunity to explore nature through open-ended, unstructured and self-initiated play.

Role Models: Children need the guidance of a caring adult who can share with them a love of the natural world and inspire a sense of awe and wonder.

Community and Society: Preserving and creating natural places to come together allows us to experience one another and to grow as neighbors and as communities.