The Chicago Wilderness Leave No Child Inside initiative promotes a culture in which children enjoy and are encouraged to be outside in nature, and as a result are healthier, have a sense of connection to their place, and become supporters and stewards of local nature. Leave No Child Inside programs strive to nourish children’s curiosity, growth, and creativity through unstructured play time outside in nature and other outdoor recreation activities.
Children are increasingly disconnected from nature as a result of several factors, including over-structured schedules, loss of green space, parental fear, and the preva-lence of electronics that keep kids “wired” indoors. Chicago Wilderness recognizes the growing body of scientific evidence demon-strating how important direct contact with the outdoors is to healthy childhood devel-opment, with emphasis on fitness, creativity, cognitive functioning, and a sense of wonder.
On a regional scale, Chicago Wilderness is working to do this by implementing the Green Infrastructure Vision (GIV).
The GIV is a visionary picture of what our Chicago Wilderness region can look like, if we are careful to protect the natural areas and open spaces that are critical to our qual-ity of life. It is also a call to carefully think about the way we live in and among natural systems and how we can protect critical resources. The GIV presents an opportu-nity to preserve and protect green space within the larger framework of the built environment, ensuring future generations’ plentiful access to natural areas.
To find out more about Chicago Wilderness & their No Child Left Inside program, click here.
For a copy of the “Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights”, click here.