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You assert that reconnecting with nature also strength- ens community and family bonds, but where can busy urbanites start?


Often, families want to connect with nature but don’t know how. We offer free tools at ChildrenAndNature.org to help you start a family nature club orga- nized around prearranged nature play dates. One club has 600 families. This helps create meaningful social bonding within and between families. It’s some- thing any family can do, regardless of location or income, and it’s good fun.


What roles do governments play in preserving a nature- balanced world?


All have a role to play. Urban planners a hundred years ago planned cities around nature. It’s not a new idea; we’ve just forgotten.


Nature can offer cost-effective solutions to some of the problems cash- strapped governments face. For example, it costs a lot to tear up a canyon and put in a new stormwater system, but a lot less to develop a system that takes advantage of the natural watershed.


People often think about nature as somewhere else, like a state park or wilder- ness area, yet you point out the need to re-imagine our own yards and neighbor- hoods. What can we do to enhance the local habitats that ultimately sustain us?


We often overlook the nature where we live, work and play. In 2008, for the first time in history, more people on Earth, were living in urban, rather than rural, areas. That means if we are going to have meaningful experiences with nature, we are going to have to rethink nature within cities. Looking forward, conservation measures alone won’t be enough to get us where we need to be. We need to start re-creating nature in order to pro- tect the biodiversity that all creatures need, humans included. We can start in our backyards by replacing lawns with flowers and native plants that will bring back sustainable migration routes for birds and butterflies. Acting on The Nature Principle is an optimistic way of looking at the future. It’s not just about survival; it’s creating a way of life that is profoundly all-around better for all of us.


April Thompson is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C. Connect at April Writes.com.


CORE PO WER


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natural awakenings


October 2011


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