Advocating for children to explore, learn, play and reconnect with the outdoors!
In 2010, in response to the growing alarm that a lack of time to learn and play outdoors is harming our children’s health and academic success, Governor Jack Markell directed the Delaware Department of Education and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, to convene key partners to address the interrelated challenges of providing all children with meaningful outdoor experiences, improving children’s health, promoting environmental literacy and increasing student achievement. The Task Force was composed of 150 of Delaware’s leaders and in October 2012, the taskforce produced a report outlining goals, recommendations and actions in four areas: education, outdoor connection, community and health. The full report can be read here.
In 2013, as a result of the work conducted by the Task Force and the recommendations presented, Delaware’s first Children in Nature (CIN) coordinator was hired. In 2013, the Children in Nature Coalition, a broad and diverse coalition of organizations and agencies that will advocate for policies, programs and infrastructure to facilitate outdoor learning and play for all children and communities, grew to 20 partners. In 2014, CIN celebrated the first Children in Nature Month, which was deemed October of every year by Governor Markell. In 2015 the DWRC officially joined the CIN Coalition and serves as cochair of the Youth Career Pathways group, a subcommittee of the Community Outreach Committee. The Coalition now has over 30 partners.
This partnership is deeply committed to improve environmental literacy, create opportunities for children to participate in outdoor experiences, promote healthy lifestyles and provide better access to green space through school and community programs. Find more information about the Delaware Children in Nature Coalition here and for Delaware State Parks 2016 Program Guide visit www.destateparks.com/programs/DSPGuide.asp