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Friends of Youth and Nature supports, promotes and facilitates opportunities for youth and families to go outside in order to:

  • Explore and embrace nature
  • Experience new outdoor activities
  • Engage in stewardship projects

Its mission is to:

  • Promote healthy lifestyles;
  • Educate our community about environmental issues;
  • Provide stewardship opportunities;
  • Pursue funding to support our partners programming efforts.
  • Provide a platform to collaborate, and connect partners with educators, students, and parents.

Nature is good for kids. Studies have found that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive, and less anxious than kids who spend more time indoors.

Kids playing outside in nature are a lot less structured than most types of indoor play. Letting your child choose how he treats nature means he has the power to control his own actions.

Outdoor play is generally unstructured which allows kids to interact meaningfully with their surroundings. They can think more freely, design their own activities, and approach the world in inventive ways.

Children learn through trial and error that living things die if mistreated or not taken care of properly. Entrusting a child to take care of the living parts of their environment means they’ll learn what happens when they forget to water a plant, or pull a flower out by its roots.

Being outside expands our spectrum of senses- you can see, hear, smell, and touch outdoor environments.

Most ways of interacting with nature involve more exercise than sitting on the couch. Your kid doesn’t have to be joining the local soccer team or riding a bike through the park—even a walk will get her blood pumping. Not only is exercise good for kids’ bodies, but it seems to make them more focused, which is especially beneficial for kids with ADHD.

No other environment can provide the unique sense of wonder for kids that nature provides. Spending time in backyards and parks makes kids ask questions about the earth and the life that it supports.

Nature improves our state of mind. Being in nature allow kids to relax and effortlessly follow their curiosities and fascinations at random. They have an opportunity to rest, reflect, and restore themselves.