Author and speaker Richard Louv will be the featured guest at the upcoming program, “Peace And The Natural World: The Restorative Power of Nature Where We Live, Work, Learn and Play.” He will be offering two talks in Newtown with book signings on April 5, first at 1:30 pm at Newtown Meeting House, 31 Main Street; and again that evening at 6:30 at Fraser Woods Montessori School, 173 South Main Street.
The program is free to the public. Organizers are asking for registration, including a note on which program them will be attending, e-mailing Woodcock Nature Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Co-hosting the event is resident Henryk Teraszkiewicz, executive director of Fairfield County’s Woodcock Nature Center in Wilton Per Mr Teraszkiewicz’s request, Mr Louv will be coming to town at a critical time, just four months after the 12/14 tragedy.
Mr Louv’s visit “is really big for our area,” Mr Teraszkiewicz said. “I think that his message could really help a lot of people.”
Mr Louv will discuss his perspectives on nature as a healing, therapeutic element, and the current acute need for outdoor activity and the role of nature in children’s mental, emotional, and physical development.
Mr Teraszkiewicz stated in a recent e-mail, “As the father of a 6- and 8-year-old in Newtown and the head of a nature center whose mission is to get kids outside, I’m especially concerned at the potential reactionary effects that the December 14th tragedy could have in our area, state, or further.
“One of the biggest hurdles in combating what is being termed nature deficit disorder, the disconnect from our own outdoors, is parental fears.” He “started to get even more alarmed” at ideas that outdoor recess could be eliminated for security reasons. He said, “[Mr] Louv is an expert on the ability of nature to act as a healing and therapeutic element, as well as the need for outdoor play for children’s mental, emotional, and physical development.”
According to a recent press release, Mr Louv’s vision is to support the parents, children, and counselors in the area; to offer some practical advice to those who will deal with increased predicted fallout; and to discuss his therapeutic “Let’s G.O. (Get Outside).”
Mr Louv will also address nature deficit disorder, something he believes to be a “serious impediment to the mental well-being and physical health of children and adults alike,” the release states.
Richard Louv is a journalist and author of eight books about the connections between family, nature, and community, as well as a co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Children & Nature Network, an organization helping build the movement to connect today’s children and future generations to the natural world. He coined the term nature deficit disorder, and in 2008, he was awarded the Audubon Medal, presented by the National Audubon Society.
Mr Louv has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times of London, and other major publications.
He has appeared on many national TV shows, including NBC’s Today Show and Nightly News, CBS Evening News, ABC’s Good Morning America, and NPR’s Morning Edition, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation. Between 1984 and 2007 he was a columnist for The San Diego Union-Tribune and has been a columnist and member of the editorial advisory board for Parents magazine. He has served as an advisor both to the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World award program and to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.
He is additionally on the board of directors of ecoAmerica and a member of the Citistates Group. He has appeared before the Domestic Policy Council in the White House as well as at major governmental and professional conferences, nationally and internationally, and as keynote speaker at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference.
Most recently, on April 16, 2012, Mr Louv gave the closing keynote at the first White House Summit on Environmental Education.