Why Children (and the rest of us) Need Nature

Written by Richard Louv, this essay concisely explains a growing trend of disconnection from nature and cites research that points to the imperative to reconnect and heal.

Nature Is the Ultimate Living Teacher

Written by VWP Executive Director Stacey Hinden, this article describes how learning in a multi-sensory environment as did our ancestors is good medicine for the body and mind.

Children & Nature Network (C&NN)

Recent research shows that children who spend significant time immersed in unstructured play in nature are more relaxed, better at problem-solving and critical thinking, more focused, and exhibit more cooperative behavior and team-work

Benefits – National Wildlife Federation

This website has links to scientific studies that prove the many benefits of spending time in nature, including better eyesight and better standardized test scores!


Nature Connection Books

Support VWP by ordering through the Wilderness Awareness School’s affiliate program.

Jon Young, Ellen Haas, Evan McGowan, Coyote’s Guide to Nature Mentoring

Joseph Cornell, Sharing Nature with Children

Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder

Richard Louv, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature Deficit Disorder


Coyote Mentoring and Eight Shields Trainings

Coyote Mentoring Training

Wilderness Awareness School

Kamana Naturalist Training Program 

Nature Skills

Jon Young

Eight Shields Institute


Other Related Resources

Naomi Aldort, Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves

Myla and John Kabat Zinn, Everyday blessings: the Inner Work of Mindful Parenting

Alfie Kohn, Punished by Rewards: the Trouble With Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise and Other Bribes

Marshall Rosenberg, Non-Violent Communication: A Language for Life

Bill Plotkin, Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World

Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft

Animus Valley Institute

Rite of Passage Journeys