What’s New with Nature Explore: Heart Beats

I Drum Therefore I Am…

…Intelligent: Drumming is found to improve concentration and focus.  Also, studies reveal that playing percussion instruments strengthen children’s math and literacy skills.

…Physically and Mentally Active: Drumming increases your heart rate and blood flow.  It also stimulates the left and right side of the brain simultaneously.

…Connected to the Earth: “Drumming directly links humans with the vibration of the Earth by slowing the brain waves to around 8 cycles per second, the same frequency as the planet” (Feathers, 1995).

View professionally made drums for children

Be the Change You Want to See in the World

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Attend the 2013 Leadership Institue and support your personal mission to:

  • Provide foundational, whole child learning experiences in nature-based outdoor classrooms; or
  • Offer vital insights on the power of play in nature to students in your colleges and universities; or
  • Be a leader in the cutting-edge outdoor classroom design industry (and receive LACES professional development hours).

Relax and Recharge at a Nature Explore Workshop

Designed for adults who work with children in a variety of ways, each hands-on workshop provides attendees with research-based, field-tested experiences that support comprehensive learning with nature.

Click here to learn more about Nature Explore Workshops











Ohio: Be an Ambassador for Getting Kids Outside!

Central Ohio developed this “LNCI Ambassador Toolkit” on their website to give you all of the resources you need to have productive conversations with the people and institutions in your circle of influence. (Your school, place of worship, workplace, parents you know, clubs, etc.)

See this great resource here:


Dayton OH: CDC Healthy Schools Workshop!

The Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT)

December 10, 2012 in Dayton, Ohio

Presented by Donna Videto

The Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) can help school districts, schools, and others conduct a clear, complete, and consistent analysis of health education curricula based on the National Health Education Standards and CDC’s Characteristics of an Effective Health Education Curriculum. Results of the HECAT can help schools select or develop appropriate and effective health education curricula and improve the delivery of health education. The HECAT can be customized to meet local community needs and conform to the curriculum requirements of the state or school district. This CDC workshop will help participants assess health education curricula, based on national health education standards and CDC guidance. For more information or to register now, click here.

Natural Treasures of Ohio – Win a Hybrid Car!

With the help of many partners, The Nature Conservancy in Ohio launched an exciting promotion called Natural Treasures of Ohio that is aimed at encouraging Ohio families to get outside this summer and explore the state’s many wonderful natural areas.  The grand prize is a Honda Insight Hybrid, and secondary prizes include five $500 gift cards from REI.  Go to nature.org/naturaltreasuresohio or facebook.com/ohionatureconservancy and find one or more of 30 places around the state that have been identified as Natural Treasures of Ohio.  To enter, take a photo of yourself with the designated landmark at a site and upload it to the website.  You get a chance to win for each site you visit – up to 30 chances.  In addition to entering the sweepstakes, participants are encouraged to explore the properties through a series of fun, family-friendly activities which can also be found online.  Activities range from an adventurous game of “I Spy” in the Windows of Wildlife viewing area at Toledo’s Side Cut Metropark to a leisurely stroll through Cincinnati’s Mount Airy Forest arboretum.  See the website for more details.

Weeklong workshop in the woods for early ed (Ohio)

Last summer I attended Language of Nature: Reading the Earth workshop, and loved it. Educators, naturalist and writers came together to learn more about nature and writing. The food was excellent! The group was really fun. I highly recommend it!

A unique opportunity:

Language of Nature: Reading the Earth 2012, a hands-on, exploratory, week-long workshop . . . in the woods, supported by a grant from the Ohio Humanities Council.

It’s July 22- 27 at Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center in Cuyahoga National Park, Brecksville, Ohio 44141. For more information, www.otterbein.edu/readingtheearth

If you have any questions, please call Claire Parson at 614/823-1214


Pat Claeys

Board Member for Columbus Association for the Education of Young Children (Columbus AEYC)

The White House Summit on Environmental Education

The White House Summit on Environmental Education was on April 16.

Richard Louv and Rep. John Sarbanes (MD), who sponsored the original NCLI Act in 2009, were speakers along with a panel of National Park Service & EPA members, discussing collaborative efforts to get kids and families outside.


It is clear that the health and well-being of Ohio’s children, like that of children across the nation, is at serious risk. It is also clear that most children today are disconnected from the experiences in the natural world that so effectively built healthy bodies, encouraged creativity and a sense of wonder, relieved stress, facilitated learning and developed important social skills in of the generations of children before them.

These two facts are of almost universal concern. People from all walks of life are coming together with the common goal of restoring to our children, and to the children of the future, what should be the right of all children – the right to play and learn in nature. Ohio recognizes this in supporting the Ohio Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights.

Collectively, we recognize that it will take some work to reverse what has become a sedentary, indoor lifestyle for the children of today. We believe that the Public Awareness Campaign will inspire even more people to take action. This report sets forth strategies that can begin today – through the structures already in place in Ohio. From parents and grandparents to state agencies, all can help reconnect Ohio’s children with nature. We recognize the need, we have the desire, and we are ready to begin. We hope that YOU will join us in the movement to Leave No Child Inside!

Together, we can make Ohio’s children happier, healthier and smarter!

Sandusky County LNCI activities make the news

The Sandusky County Parks District is participating in a movement called “Leave No Child Inside” to encourage children and their families to enjoy the outdoors….  Read more

Environmental Literacy Plan Draft needs YOUR input!

Hi Everyone!

Here is the long awaited Ohio Environmental Literacy Plan that a group of us have been working on for 2 years now.
See the link to the plan AND to an accompanying survey below.
If you have a chance to review it, any feedback you can offer via the survey would be much appreciated.
Jenny Morgan
Begin forwarded message:
Date: November 1, 2011 10:36:19 AM EDT
Subject: The Ohio Environmental Literacy Plan – Please Review
If you are receiving this email you have been chosen to review the latest version of the Ohio Environmental Literacy Plan (ELP).  Please feel free to forward this email and instructions to others that would be interested in providing feedback.

The ELP was created in Ohio to address the momentum that is gaining across the country for a greater focus on environmental literacy and connection to the outdoors for today’s youth. Federal Legislation has been introduced which would strengthen environmental education in America’s classrooms and reconnect children with the outdoors. Many states, including Ohio, are positioning themselves to be responsive to this legislation and any funding that might be included.

Below is a link to the ELP and to a survey.  Please take the time to review the ELP thoroughly before you complete the survey.  If you have specific questions regarding the ELP or survey please feel free to contact me.  We would like to have the review process completed by November 30, 2011.

Thank you in advance for your help and review of this very valuable document.
On behalf of the Environmental Education Council of Ohio I would also like to send out a big thank you to the members of the Advisory Group that has guided the Ohio ELP to this point.
Kim Mullen, Dick Dieffenderfer, Marcia Barnhart– Ohio Department of Education
Carolyn Watkins – Ohio Environmental Education Fund/Ohio EPA
Jen Dennison – Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Jenny Morgan, Alice Hohl – Ohio Leave No Child Inside Collaboratives
Mark Young – Ohio Parks and Recreation Association
Pat Barron – Teaching and Learning Collaborative and the Environmental Education Council of Ohio
And the Teaching & Learning Collaborative for logistic and technical support.

The Link to the Ohio Environmental Literacy Plan and the survey:  www.ohioenvironmentalliteracyplan.org

Brenda Metcalf, Executive Director
Environmental Education Council of Ohio
PO Box 1004
Lancaster, OH 43130

P: 740.653.2649
F: 740.653.6100
C: 740.215.3376


Make sure to join us for:

Winter Snow February, 3 & 4, 2012: Camp Nuhop (Northeast Ohio)

The EECO 45th Annual Conference, April 26-29, 2012 at Shawnee State Park in southern Ohio. Happy Anniversary EECO!

Strong statement by Google parents re: natural materials vs computers for children!


“Schools nationwide have rushed to supply their classrooms with computers, and many policy makers say it is foolish to do otherwise.  But the contrarian point of view can be found at the epicenter of the tech economy, where some parents and educators have a message: computers and schools don’t mix.”   This surprising assertion appeared in an October 22 New York Times article, “A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute.”