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Richard Louv quotes (showing 1-30 of 36)

“The woods were my Ritalin. Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“An environment-based education movement--at all levels of education--will help students realize that school isn't supposed to be a polite form of incarceration, but a portal to the wider world.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“In medieval times, if someone displayed the symptoms we now identify as boredom, that person was thought to be committing something called acedia, a 'dangerous form of spiritual alienation' -- a devaluing of the world and its creator.”
Richard Louv
“If getting our kids out into nature is a search for perfection, or is one more chore, then the belief in perfection and the chore defeats the joy. It's a good thing to learn more about nature in order to share this knowledge with children; it's even better if the adult and child learn about nature together. And it's a lot more fun.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“Progress does not have to be patented to be worthwhile. Progress can also be measured by our interactions with nature and its preservation. Can we teach children to look at a flower and see all the things it represents: beauty, the health of an ecosystem, and the potential for healing? ”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“She was one of those exceptional children who do still spend time outside, in solitude. In her case nature represented beauty - and refuge. "It's so peaceful out there and the air smells so good. I mean, it's polluted, but not as much as the city air. For me, it's completely different there," she said. "It's like you're free when you go out there. It's your own time. Sometimes I go there when I'm mad - and then, just with the peacefulness, I'm better. I can come back home happy, and my mom doesn't even know why."
     The she described her special part of the woods.
     "I had a place. There was a big waterfall and a creek on one side of it. I'd dug a big hole there, and sometimes I'd take a tent back there, or a blanket, and just lie down in the hole, and look up at the trees and sky. Sometimes I'd fall asleep back there. I just felt free; it was like my place, and I could do what I wanted, with nobody to stop me. I used to go down there almost every day."
     The young poet's face flushed. Her voice thickened.
     "And then they just cut the woods down. It was like they cut down part of me.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth, and to tell our stories. These are the moments when the world is made whole. In my children's memories, the adventures we've had together in nature will always exist.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“Why do so many Americans say they want their children to watch less TV, yet continue to expand the opportunities for them to watch it? More important, why do so many people no longer consider the physical world worth watching? The highway's edges may not be postcard perfect. But for a century, children's early understanding of how cities and nature fit together was gained from the backseat: the empty farmhouse at the edge of the subdivision; the variety of architecture, here and there; the woods and fields and water beyond the seamy edges--all that was and still is available to the eye. This was the landscape that we watched as children. It was our drive-by movie.”
Richard Louv
“Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“Time in nature is not leisure time; it's an essential investment in our chidlren's health (and also, by the way, in our own).”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“What if a tree fell in the forest and no one knew it's biological name? Did it exist?”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“Reading stimulates the ecology of the imagination.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“One of my students told me that every time she learns the name of a plant, she feels as if she is meeting someone new. Giving a name to something is a way of knowing it.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“Prize the natural spaces and shorelines most of all, because once they're gone, with rare exceptions they're gone forever. In our bones we need the natural curves of hills, the scent of chapparal, the whisper of pines, the possibility of wildness. We require these patches of nature for our mental health and our spiritual resilience.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“In an agricultural society, or during a time of exploration and settlement, or hunting and fathering--which is to say, most of mankind's history--energetic boys were particularly prized for their strength, speed, and agility. [...] As recently as the 1950s, most families still had some kind of agricultural connection. Many of these children, girls as well as boys, would have been directing their energy and physicality in constructive ways: doing farm chores, baling hay, splashing in the swimming hole, climbing trees, racing to the sandlot for a game of baseball. Their unregimented play would have been steeped in nature.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“There is a canyon within a reasonable distance of nearly every school in the city," [Elaine Brooks] pointed out. What an exciting prospect, she said - a network of natural libraries for teaching children about the region’s rare and fragile ecosystems - and about themselves.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“Unlike television, reading does not swallow the senses or dictate thought. Reading stimulates the ecology of the imagination. Can you remember the wonder you felt when first reading The Jungle Book or Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn? Kipling’s world within a world; Twain’s slow river, the feel of freedom and sand on the secret island, and in the depths of the cave?”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“If you can't live in the land you love, love the land you're in.”
Richard Louv
“Most scientists who study human perception no longer assume that we have five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing. The current number ranges from a conservative ten senses to as many as thirty, including blood-sugar levels, empty stomach, thirst, joint position, and more. The list is growing.”
Richard Louv, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder
“The pleasure of being alive is brought into sharper focus when you need to pay attention to staying alive.”
Richard Louv, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder
“The physical exercise and emotional stretching that children enjoy in unorganized play is more varied and less time-bound than is found in organized sports. Playtime—especially unstructured, imaginative, exploratory play—is increasingly recognized as an essential component of wholesome child development.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“An indoor (or backseat) childhood does reduce some dangers to children; but other risks are heightened, including risks to physical and psychological health, risk to children's concept and perception of community, risk to self-confidence and the ability to discern true danger”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“The Environmental Protection Agency now warns us that indoor air pollution is the nation's number one environmental threat to health- and it's from two to ten times worse than outdoor air pollution. A child indoors is more susceptible to spore of toxic molds growing under that plush carpet; or bacteria or allergens carried by household vermin; or carbon monoxide, radon and lead dust. The allergen level of newer, sealed buildings can be as much as two hundred times greater than that of older structures.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“My contention throughout this book is that reconnecting to nature is one key to growing a larger environmental movement. That reconnection is visceral and immediately useful to many people’s lives. Encouraging personal reconnection does not mean less engagement with global environmental issues; it means more. To act, most of us need motivation beyond despair.”
Richard Louv, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder
“Our sensitivity to nature, and our humility within it, are essential to our physical and spiritual survival. Yet, our growing disconnection from nature dulls our senses, and eventually blunts even the sharpened sensory state created by man-made or natural disaster.”
Richard Louv, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder
“There’s no denying the benefits of the Internet. But electronic immersion, without a force to balance it, creates the hole in the boat — draining our ability to pay attention, to think clearly, to be productive and creative.”
Richard Louv, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder
“This principle holds that a reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health, well-being, spirit, and survival.”
Richard Louv, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder
“To me, still being considered a kid, it can’t be too much to ask. We should have the same rights as adults did when they were young.”
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“What would our lives be like if our days and nights were as immersed in nature as they are in technology?”
Richard Louv, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder
“This seems clear enough: When truly present in nature, we do use all our senses at the same time, which is the optimum state of learning.”
Richard Louv, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder

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