The Children of Indiana Nature Park
Let’s reboot our kid’s interest in nature!
-By Melissa Moran and Laura Sertic
Did you know kid’s need nature? Research shows that children who spend time outside are more creative and are better problem solvers. They’re healthier, more physically fit, more confident, better test takers, and less stressed. Re-establishing a connection to nature is vital to the health and well-being of children, their families, and their communities. What’s more, we need kids to connect with nature. Because when you connect with something, you care about it and when you care about something, you want to protect it.
To foster healthy children, ready learners, and future care-takers for the environment, the Children of Indiana Nature Park (Park) was created. The Park is one of only 14 signature projects of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. Bringing together a team of conservation and education organizations, The Nature Conservancy is partnering with Cope Environmental Center, the Indiana Department of Education, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to make the children’s park a reality.
This Park gives the gift of nature to every K-12 student in Indiana by providing the opportunity to claim their own place in the Park. When a student (or teacher or group leader) claims their Nature IN-Deed, they receive a certificate with a unique geographical coordinate to their very own place in the Park. With the Children of Indiana Nature Park, Hoosier students are invited to learn about nature and how to care for the land. Children can claim their Nature-IN Deed and visit their spot in person or virtually via the Park’s website, created by The Nature Conservancy. Using their unique geographic coordinates, children can monitor their land from anywhere at any time: today, next week, or even five years from now. On the website, young people with deeds will be able to see the Park changes that are made to improve the health of the Park. The ultimate goal is for young Hoosiers to build a personal connection with nature that inspires the desire to care for our lands and waters.
If visiting the Park is not possible, the Bicentennial Nature Center Network offers more than 20 nature center locations around Indiana for kids to connect with nature. Visit our website at http://www.ilovemyland.org, like us on Facebook (Children of Indiana Nature Park) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org