Children and Place: A Natural Connection

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Catherine E. Matthews, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: As environmental educators, our responsibility is to see that all children have opportunities to develop relationships with wild places right in their communities to develop this critical sense of place. Every community needs citizens of all ages who feel a connection to a creek, a meadow, a park, or a playground. It is especially important to remember the axiom of Baba Dioum, a Senegalese ecologist: "In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught" ( Aldo Leopold, one of America's premier conservationists, remarked, "Our remnants of wilderness will yield bigger values to the nation's character and health than they will to its pocketbook, and to destroy them will be to admit that the latter are the only values that interest us" (1990, 160-61). Leopold wrote for those of us who cannot live without wild things. In turn, we need to provide experiences for children of all ages who need wild things.

Additional Information

Science Activities, 39 (1), 16 – 24
Language: English
Date: 2002
Children, Natural world, Environmental educators

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