INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS – MAKING A DIFFERENCE – The preceding sections outline strategies to encourage and support a change in lifestyle for Ohio’s children through the work of organizations. However, perhaps the measure of the greatest success in the movement to Leave No Child Inside is its ability to inspire individuals to take action. People of all ages, races, socio-economic status and political persuasions have been inspired to action by their desire for future generations to reap the benefits of playing and learning in nature. Some of these individuals are the founders of the more than eighty grassroots initiatives that exist in the United States as of the writing of this report. Others are taking more simple steps, like spending “outdoor time” with a grandchild each week.
Although we cannot over-emphasize the importance of incorporating the children and nature message into the work of our government agencies, schools, non-profit organizations and even the businesses that influence the lives of children, the greatest impact will come from everyday citizens weaving this message into their daily routines.
- Nature Clubs For Families
In Roanoke, Virginia, Chip and Ashley Donahue were inspired by the children and nature message to take their children hiking at a nearby park. As they were hiking, their young son asked why they were the only family out there having so much fun! Chip and Ashley decided to invite friends to join them. Out of that grew Kids in the Valley Adventuring (KIVA), with a website connecting families to each week’s hiking “adventure”. Within a few months, 170 families were participating. But, Chip and Ashley didn’t stop there – subsequently they shared their strategy and helped the Children and Nature Network develop the Nature Clubs for Families Tool Kit.