Monday, February 13, 2012

GBCAN - Greater Baltimore Children and Nature

GBCAN, or the Greater Baltimore Children and Nature Collaborative, is having a conference on February 23, 2012 from 8:30 am - 4 pm. The conference will have a lot to offer - a long list of workshops, keynote speaker Rue Mapp founder of, an action strategy session, open time for discussion, and breakfast and lunch served. The GBCAN Conference, as noted on the Parks & People Foundation website, "hopes to convene adult and youth leaders across the sectors of education, health, business, faith and the arts for a discussion and workshops about connecting youth to nature in local parks, schoolyards, community greenspaces and beyond."

Do you feel that the youth around you do not experience nature enough? That our young people, especially those in urban environments, do not get the outdoor adventures they should? If so, you may be interested in any one of the following workshops, some of a long list of workshops that will be offered:
-->Nature Play Spaces
-->Exploring Your Environment with Digital Video Making
-->Docs in the Park: a New Health and Outdoor Initiative
-->Port of Baltimore and Environmental Education
-->After the Asphalt: Learning and Earning in the School Yard Habitat
-->Storywalk: Families Learning and Playing Outside

and more!

The GBCAN started in 2008. Prompted by new research in particular from Richard Louv and his book Last Child in the Woods, Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder that children have less and less of a relationship with nature, they more sequestered inside or interacting with electronics than with the outside. This lack of nature can have negative effects on children's mental and physical health. How do we bring our children back outside? GBCAN works on ways to do that, and this conference is involving YOU in the discussion!

contact Mike Dorsey at for more information or visit the GBCAN conference webpage above to sign up!

Also: If you cannot make the conference but you are interested in getting your child or youth in your life outside, check out Family Exploring Nature Clubs, watch for youth events at Cylburn Arboretum, look into Nature Play Spaces at an event for your child, research Outdoor Summer Camps or Youth B'More or Cylburn Nature Science Camp, or get involved in your child's school and find out how to bring nature to the schoolyard. And remember, there's lots of opportunities to take your whole family on an outside adventure in any one of Baltimore City and County's numerous parks!

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