TUPPER LAKE - After closing its doors for the month of April, the Wild Center re-opens in May with a spectacular event.
Richard Louv, journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder," will be in the Adirondacks Saturday, May 2 to discuss the future relationship between nature and children.
Organized by Children in Nature, New York, a growing partnership of organizations dedicated to reconnecting children and nature across New York State, Louv's visit will raise awareness of the No Child Left Inside movement and the need for children to spend more time in nature and the ensuing benefits.
Louv will speak to the public about Nature Deficit Disorder, the importance of families in addressing it and afterwards sign his highly acclaimed book. In addition, more than 25 organizations from throughout the region will be present to offer information, resources and inspiration for families.
"We have this incredible opportunity right outside our back door," said Jen Kretser, director of programs at the Wild Center. "The Adirondacks offer hundreds of opportunities for children to enjoy the outdoors, and there are plenty of organiztions that can help you do that."
According to Louv, children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation. By doing so, they miss the opportunity to explore and expand their horizons by putting their imagination to use.
"Nature is an antidote," said Louv. "Stress reduction, greater physical health, a deeper sense of spirit, more creativity, a sense of play, even a safer life - these are the rewards that await a family when it invites more nature into children's lives."
According to "Last Child in the Woods," two out of every 10 children in America are clinically obese; four times the percentage of childhood obesity reported in the late 1960s. Louv's book highlights the way outdoor play can enhance children's physical health and develop in them a desire to be good stewards of nature.
Family activities scheduled throughout the day on the 31-acre campus will range from fly fishing and nature scavenger hunts to building a fort or just laying back and watching the clouds as they pass in the sky above.
In addition to his public appearance at the Wild Center May 2, Louv is also scheduled to meet in Lake Placid that evening with state officials and leaders in the public health, medical, child care, and education fields. This invitation-only meeting aims to introduce Louv and his concepts and generate support for the creation of an organized state-wide initiative.
Louv will also officially open The Pines nature play area at The Wild Center. The Pines is a new type of play area designed entirely with nature in mind. Kids are encouraged to explore the play area on their own terms and in their own time.
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Adirondack Medical Center, North Country Public Radio, the Adirondack Museum, Evergreen Fund at Adirondack Community Trust, International Paper and Stewart's Shops are sponsors of the event.