Connecting youth with nature: The Bicentennial Nature Center Network at Conner Prairie’s Treetop Outpost
Youth today spend less than half as much time outdoors as children did 20 years ago yet several studies have shown that children need plenty of time outdoors to live happy and healthy. Just as concerning, the average American child today spends at least 45 hours a week staring at some kind of electronic screen which has led to the appearance of what some are calling ‘nature-deficit disorder’ in many children.
Along with expanding its outdoor programming opportunities, Cope Environmental Center, located in Centerville, Ind., has been reaching out across the state to ensure that every child in Indiana is within 60 miles of a partner nature center that will provide environmental education and creative outdoor experiences.
Conner Prairie is a partner in the network and in July opened a new outdoor nature experience called Treetop Outpost. I’ll share what this four-story treehouse surrounded by hands-on, immersive activities is, its intent to connect children and families with nature and how it fits into both the missions of the network and Conner Prairie.Request This Free Speech