Richard Louv, the author of the best-seller “Last Child in the Woods” and inventor of the term “nature-deficit disorder,” will be on hand for the grand opening of Bubolz Nature Preserve’s new 18,000-square-foot nature center building on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22.
Louv, whose work includes “The Nature Principal” and “Vitamin N,” is appearing courtesy of a Bright Idea Fund grant from the Community Foundation. He also will speak at a gala the previous evening. The $25,000 grant also will help the nature center launch its “Need for Nature” movement, advocating that people include time in the outdoors to help their emotional outlook and increase their appreciation for the natural world.
“Need for Nature” ties in well with the theme of Louv’s three books. He has compiled scientific research and anecdotal stories that time spent in nature improves health, reduces stress and helps children cope with attention deficit disorder and other challenges.
“The Nature Principal: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age” expanded the lessons of “Last Child in the Woods” to apply to adults and “Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life” lists activities and places to experience nature. Louv calls on parents to get their kids outside enough to discover that they like it, and for schools to build significant relationships with nature centers and environmental groups. He is the founder of the Children and Nature Network.
His appearance is part of an Earth Day Festival at Bubolz from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day, a family fun and educational event featuring more than 50 hands-on activities, entertainment and a special appearance by the PBS Kids character Nature Cat. Louv will speak at 2 p.m. on “What is Nature Deficit Disorder and How Can the Fox Cities Tackle This Problem?” The event is free and open to the public.
This is a return to the Fox Valley for Louv, who was the featured author at the 2013 Fox Cities Book Festival. His appearance then was supported by a grant from the Community Foundation’s Environmental Stewardship Fund.
Louv is a journalist and author of nine books. His work has been translated into 13 languages and published in 17 countries.