#17 Title:

Last Child in The Woods

Special Guest:
Richard Louv, author of seven books about family, nature and community, including "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder."

Today’s kids are spending six hours a day in front of a TV, computer, or video game and missing out on essential free play in nature.  This growing disconnect between children and the outdoors, labeled Nature-Deficit Disorder, has potential negative impacts on a child’s physical, emotional and mental development. Join our discussion as we interview Richard Louv and learn how to overcome this epidemic that is sweeping the country!

Duration: 42:26

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00:40 Welcome Richard Louv
02:58 What is Nature-Deficit Disorder?
06:28 Why aren't Children Outside More?
12:48 Schools Must Get Involved
14:43 What Can Parent's Do?
21:03 Natural Biological Need to Connect
22:37 The Children & Nature Network
24:37 Caller: Mark on Balancing Nature
25:29 Suggestions for Mark
33:15 Richard's Childhood Memories & Family
39:00 Closing Comments

About Richard Louv

Richard Louv is a futurist and journalist focused on family, nature and community. He is the author of seven books, including, most recently, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. Among his other books are Childhood's Future, The Web of Life, Fly-Fishing for Sharks: An Angler's Journey Across America, and America II. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and other newspapers and magazines.

In addition to his writing, Louv is chairman of The Children & Nature Network, a non-profit organization helping build the movement to reconnect children and nature. He is a member of the Citistates Group, an association of urban observers, and serves as a member on the board of directors of ecoAmerica.

Between 1984 and 2007, he was a columnist for The San Diego Union-Tribune. He was also a columnist and member of the editorial advisory board for Parents magazine. He helped found Connect for Kids, the largest child advocacy site on the Web. He served as an advisor to the Ford Foundation's Leadership for a Changing World award program and the Scientific Council on the Developing Child, and was a Visiting Scholar at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Louv speaks frequently around the country. He has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, The Morning Show on CBS, Good Morning America, Today, Bill Moyers' Listening to America, NPR's Fresh Air, Talk of the Nation, PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News and many other programs.

The United Nations commissioned his monograph on fatherhood for the U.N. Year of the Child, and he has spoken before the National Policy Council in the White House.

He is married to Kathy Frederick Louv and is the father of two young men, Jason, 24 and Matthew, 19. He would rather fish than write.

Quick Links

Richard's Blog: Field Notes from the Future

Email: rlouv@cts.com

Jen's daughter, Jade, loves all things slimy and creepy.

About Last Child in the Woods
Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

Book Description

In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

Last Child in the Woods is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. More than just raising an alarm, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways to heal the broken bond—and they are right in our own backyard.

Book Reviews

"This book is an absolute must-read for parents." — The Boston Globe

"Our children are part of a truly vast experiment — the first generations to be raised without meaningful contact with the natural world... Richard Louv provides insight on what it's doing to our children, and savvy advice about how to bring it to an end and restore the age-old relationship between people and the rest of the planet." — Bill McKibben, author of "The End of Nature."

"There is no better time to read 'Last Child in the Woods'..." — Wall Street Journal

"The simplest, most profound, and most helpful of any book I have read on the personal and historical situation of our children, and ourselves, as we move on into the 21st century." — Thomas Berry, author of "The Dream of the Earth"

Richard’s Other Books

101 Things You Can Do for Our Children's Future
Louv begins with the African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child," and proposes that everyone (those without as well as those with children) ought to take responsibility for their welfare. Divided by chapters dealing with such topics as families, neighborhoods, schools, places of worship, and more, the book lists ideas to foster community and children's well-being. (Anchor, 1994)

Web of Life: Weaving the Values That Sustain Us
The importance of connecting through memory and common humanity is the overriding theme that concerns Louv in this collection of thoughtful, persuasive essays. Because the family is the first community a child knows, the author believes that family stories handed down from one generation to the next are a unique gift that helps people put their lives in context. (Conari Press, 1996)

Fly-Fishing for Sharks: An American Journey
Louv (Childhood's Future) records his travels- fishing and mingling with like-minded enthusiasts-in this brisk, if somewhat sprawling, survey of fishing across America. As he hops from proletarian New Mexico waters to hazardous ice fishing in northern Michigan, then down South to the Florida Keys, Louv delves into diverse fishing subcultures. This hymn to fishing--the sport and mystique--is decked out with photographs of the people he met, and their catches. (Simon & Schuster, 2000)

Fatherlove: What We Need, What We Seek, What We Must Create
Society suffers from a severe lack of fathers—their influence and even their presence, Louv concludes after dozens of interviews with parents, kids, and child-care professionals. Studies and statistics on teenage crime, suicide, and learning disabilities show some connection to fatherlessness, Louv claims, adding that men’s too-typical lack of involvement in children’s lives also is detrimental. In addition to the numbers are the anecdotes, heartfelt stories about troubled teens or Louv’s own boys that are affecting and effective. (Pocket Books, 1994)

America II
Louv’s first book, America II addresses the rise of the new urban form, private governments, and reinvented communities. (Penguin, 1983)

Childhood's Future
Childhood's Future is about the crisis of the American family. Newspaper columnist Richard Louv spent a couple of years traveling across the country listening to children, parents, and educators. The book is part report of what he found, part analysis of the the problem, and part prescription of how we might reweave the webs that connect family and society. (Anchor Books, 1993)

Related Articles

Richard Louv has a palette of many colors, nuances, interrelationships. He has written often about families and children, personal ethics, our national character, even fishing and our ties to the natural world. But with equal intensity, he has turned to the challenges of public leadership, urban design, how regions use their land and shape their communities.

His column has appeared for many years in the San Diego Union-Tribune and other newspapers, and and has written for many other leading U.S. newspapers and magazines. His columns can be accessed here.

Visit The Children & Nature Network.
Louv is chairman of The Children & Nature Network, a non-profit
organization helping build the movement to reconnect children and nature.

"Healing the broken bond between our young and nature is in our self-interest, not only because aesthetics or justice demand it, but also because our mental, physical, and spiritual health depend upon it."
— from Last Child in the Woods

Click Here for tips, inspiration, and resources
for starting your own family nature club.


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