Children in Nature Task Force
Secretary Collin O’Mara of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and former Secretary Lillian Lowery of the Delaware Department of Education (DOE) charged the Children in Nature/No Child Left Inside® task force to be proactive in addressing opportunities afforded by the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the current status of "nature-deficit disorder" facing young Delawareans.
The task force responded to this charge by addressing the growing alarm among educators, parents and healthcare workers that a lack of time spent outdoors is harmful to our children’s health, hampering their academic success and leaving them ill-prepared for meeting the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.
Tackling increasing rates of childhood obesity, providing opportunities for children to experience nature up close and integrating meaningful hands-on, outdoor experiences into the school curriculum are essential to the solution. The task force was challenged to address these issues with a comprehensive plan; a coalition of organizations and agencies to advocate for policies, programs and infrastructure to facilitate outdoor play and learning; and a comprehensive communications and outreach campaign to give Delaware residents greater access to our state’s tremendous natural resources.
Children In Nature Vision
Delaware will be recognized as a leader in environmental education for all of the state’s children. At school and at home, in parks, backyards and other outdoor spaces, children and adults will experience a multitude of ways to improve health and well-being and enhance life-long learning through encounters with and growing knowledge of the natural world. No child will grow up without having had a positive outdoor experience. All families will have access to green spaces. Children will reconnect with the natural world in meaningful ways and there will be no child left inside!
Children In Nature Mission
To improve environmental literacy, create opportunities for children to participate in outdoor experiences, promote healthy lifestyles and provide better access to green space through schools and community programs.