It is widely understood and accepted by informed environmental educators that children who spend time in nature, particularly in outdoor classroom settings benefit greatly in terms of social adaptability, emotional, mental and physical health and wellbeing. My experience with Sheldrake Environmental Center, Greenburgh Nature Center, Rye Nature Center as well as many other outdoor education programs have confirmed that affirmation for myself. I grew up without the benefit of any such programs or direct exposure to nature. I was born and grew up in what was literally referred to as ‘the concrete jungle’.
I am living proof that deprived of the experience of nature, my childhood development was negatively impacted and greatly affected my life.
In the time I served as a volunteer for Connecticut Audubon’s Eagle Watch at the Shepaug Dam in Southbury , Connecticut that truth was confirmed as I saw a mirror image of myself in the young city kids we bused from Bridgeport for their first truly wild nature experience observing the eagles from a blind above the river.
We need the wild! Young and old, zoos are not enough! To reconnect to our own authentic nature we need environmental literacy programs and interpretive nature programs available to our children in their most precious formative years. Sheldrake and Rye Nature Center get it! Please help support them and be ‘A Voice for Nature’.
Jay Archer, President