Thoughts for the new year from Richard Louv

Are you feeling anxiety here in the early days of 2009? It feels like every day brings a mixed bag of news — there is no shortage of alarming headlines and worrisome trends in our country, but beneath the panic is a rising groundswell of hope and optimism for what the future holds.
Richard Louv, author of the influential book Last Child in the Woods and chairman of the Children & Nature Network, recently posted an entry on the Field Notes from the Future blog, that outlines dozens of reasons to feel hopeful for the future. His emphasis is on the growing movement to reconnect our younger generations with nature, and his post shares all kinds of exciting programs, collaborations and research that are all moving the No Child Left Inside intiative forward:

Some say the future isn’t what it used to be. Here’s a different view. The future is going to be better than it used to be.
Sure, the news looks challenging…but the real miracle is the rapidly growing network of thousands of individuals, families and organizations that have made this movement their own. Folks like you.
…Now comes 2009, and the beginning of a new era — with new opportunities to strengthen ties and build new relationships.

Reading Louv’s words strike an optimistic chord for all of us here at the Institute as we gear up for another year of Mountain School, North Cascades Wild, Kulshan Creek Neighborhood Kids and other programs committed to creating and nurturing vital connections between children and the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest through education and direct experiences. (If you are interested in supporting our work in 2009, please visit our website. Individual donations are more important than ever this year!)
Read the rest of Louv’s post here.

Photos of Mountain School by Benj Drummond.

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