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NH Children in Nature Conference Oct 4, 2012 Discovering Nature.

If you're interested in finding ways to  encourage kids and families to get outside and enjoy the natural world no  matter where they are, plan to attend the New Hampshire Children in Nature  conference "Discovering Nature Wherever You Are" on October 4, 2012,  from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in  Windham, N.H. The day will showcase the many ways we can reconnect children,  youth and families with nature, particularly in our urban communities.

"New Hampshire is full of outdoor opportunities that  extend well beyond the wilderness areas - there are so many ways we can  experience "nearby nature" in our backyards and city parks, school grounds and  neighborhoods," said Marilyn Wyzga, convener of the N.H. Children in Nature  Coalition. "We're excited about bringing people together to exchange ideas and  strengthen community efforts to reconnect children, youth and families with  nature in our local communities, in simple, accessible ways."

The conference is open to public participation. "We  invite parents, teachers, city planners, environmental educators, artists,  recreation professionals, landscape designers, health practitioners and  others," said Wyzga. "This conference offers such a broad range of  workshops and presentations that no matter who you are or what your profession  is, or whether you parent or work with children, you'll be able to take away  tools and ideas for finding and engaging with nearby nature in your community."

The registration fee for the conference is $50, which  includes 3 workshop sessions, lunch and refreshments. For more information or  to register, . Registration opens  on August 23, 2012.

Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids: How to Raise  Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) will open the  conference with a keynote, and wrap up the day with a book signing. Skenazy was  dubbed "America's worst mom" after her April 2008 column in The New York Sun  described her making the controversial decision to let her 9-year-old son take  the New York City subway home alone. Drawing on facts, statistics, and humor,  she convincingly argues that this is one of the safest periods for children in  the history of the world, and reminds us that childhood is supposed to be about  discovering the world, not being held captive.

The day will be filled with informative workshops and  networking opportunities that will provide participants with the resources, tools  and knowledge to create communities that encourage everyone to spend more time  in nature. Workshops will include planning and developing outdoor learning and play spaces, finding your  way with navigation skills, making arts inspired by nature, creative teaching  on the trail, basics and safety for taking kids on walks, early childhood  activities from nature walks to fairy houses, successful teen programs,  planting urban gardens with kids, and more.

The New Hampshire Children in Nature Coalition is  dedicated to fostering experiences in nature that improve physical and  emotional health, increase understanding of the natural world, and promote  stronger connections to community and landscape. The coalition got its start in  2007, when people from health, education, community planning and environmental  sectors came together at a series of events to launch a New Hampshire  initiative to reconnect children with nature and encourage children and  families to get outside and active in the natural world. Find out more about  the coalition .

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