Open Space Speaker Series: “Nature in a Digital World: Why Getting Outside in Nature Matters” with Louise Chawla
November 15 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pmFree
Declining mental health in children and adolescents coincides with two massive shifts in the culture of contemporary childhood: the rise of time on digital screens and the fall of free-ranging exploration and free play outside. This talk begins by sharing research that establishes these connections, and then shares examples of what can be done, as parents, grandparents, park and open space systems, and communities, to bring nature back into children’s lives in ways that support mental health and wellbeing. Examples include “green hours” outdoors, “nature bathing” with teens, nature breaks on schoolyards, and children’s participation in ecological restoration. Added benefits: time in nature is good for all ages!
Louise Chawla is Professor Emeritus in the Environmental Design Program at the University of Colorado Boulder, and an active member of the university’s Community Engagement, Design and Research Center. She serves on the Scientific Advisory Council of the Children and Nature Network, and the Steering Committee of Growing Up Boulder, a program that involves children and teens in city planning and design. Her research and publications focus on children and nature, children in cities, and the development of committed action for the environment.