Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Exhibit Design Resource: Nature Rocks

Richard Louv, the author of Last Child in the Woods, contends that many kids have "nature-deficit disorder." That is, aside from the pallor created by too many rounds of Wii, or surfing the Web, children (and adults!) often lose touch with nature, due to lack of access, or lack of interest.

Many museums, like the "worth a special trip" institutions the Montshire Museum of Science and ECHO Science Center (both coincidentally in Vermont --- must be something in the water...) help visitors appreciate the local environs and encourage people to enjoy and appreciate the outside as well as the inside.

But what do you do if your museum is in a more urban setting, or you just need some fresh ideas for nature/outdoor programming at your institution?

Fortunately, The Nature Conservancy and REI have teamed up with the Children & Nature Network to create Nature Rocks --- a website chock-full of ideas, maps, and activities geared towards empowering families to enjoy nature. One of my favorite features is the Google Maps mash-up that lets you find natural places and facilities to explore.

So what are you waiting for? Take a break from that darn computer and go explore the outdoors outside your door!

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