outdoor play

Battling A Sense Of Lost Time – the importance of being in nature

Battling A Sense Of Lost Time

by MARCELO GLEISER

December 11, 2013 2:43 PM

The first word that comes to mind when I think about modern life is “overload.” The second is “dispersion.”

We are the targets of an ongoing war for our attention: the Web, new technologies, food, clothing, music. We feel the constant need to be connected; TV and radio are just not enough. We need to link to social media outlets, know what’s going on or else be out; each instant of time is taken by a screen, small or large; information pours down in torrents.

If we forget our cell phone at home, we feel like a body part is missing; we are the phones, the phones are us. We are addicted to it, as we can see when a plane lands after a 45-minute flight and hundreds of passengers turn on their phones as if their lives depended on information that just came out. We are addicted to linkage and I am guilty as charged.

We no longer allow time for contemplation.

People feel time is passing faster because we have less and less control over it. To do nothing feels like a huge waste of time. Any open window of time must be filled with tweets, Facebook updates, email, YouTube videos, podcasts. If no one is talking about us, let’s make sure that they do.

One of the victims of this “race to linkage” is our connection to nature. We can call it the new missing link.

We hardly look up to the sky or the at the life around us. To most people nature is a concept, something that exists out there, that we see in YouTube videos or magazines, on BBC and Animal Planet specials. To recover a sense of control over time we need to return to nature; we need to create space to observe other forms of life; we need to reconnect with the night sky, far from the city lights. At least this is what I do to slow down.

To me, entering a trail for a hike or run is like entering a temple. And as with any temple, I go in search of a connection, trying to restore a sense of identity as I surround myself with green and blue.


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Natural Learning Initiative Publications and Research

Creating environments for healthy human development and
a healthy biosphere for generations to come.

The purpose of the Natural Learning Initiative is to promote the importance of the natural environment in the daily experience of all children, through environmental design, action research, education, and dissemination of information.

 Publications:

Behavior Mapping: A Method for Linking Preschool Physical Activity and Outdoor Design

The preschool that children attend has been shown to be a significant but variable predictor of physical activity of 3- to 5-yr-olds, whereas the time outdoors has been found to be a strong correlate of physical activity.

read more >>

Download: Cosco_Moore_Islam_BehaviorMapping.pdf

 

Sensory Integration and Contact with Nature: Designing Outdoor Inclusive Environments

In The NAMTA Journal Vol. 34, No. 2

Healthy Planet, Healthy Children: Designing Nature into the Daily Spaces of Childhood

In Biophilic design: the theory, science, and practice of bringing buildings to life

Developing evidence-based design: Environmental interventions for healthy development of young children in the outdoors

In Open Space People Space

What makes a park inclusive and universally designed? A multi-method approach

In Open Space People Space

Greening Montessori School Grounds by Design

In The NAMTA Journal Vol. 32, No. 1

Reasons to Smile at Teardrop

In Landscape Architecture Magazine

Playgrounds: A 150-Year-Old Model

In Safe and Healthy School Environments

The Park Less Traveled: 7 Seattle Parks to Discover This Summer – ParentMap

The Park Less Traveled: 7 Seattle Parks to Discover This Summer – ParentMap.

Seattle is blessed with an incredible bounty of city parks, ranging from near wilderness to little pocket parks. But even with such a fantastic selection, it’s easy to fall into a rut and go to the same old places.

Does Parental Park Malaise set in while watching your kids slide down the salmon over and over again at Carkeek Park or negotiating toddler access rights to the canoe at Green Lake?

I recently embarked on a new-park-a-day adventure with my 4-year-old daughter, which, although costly in terms of fuel, made me even happier to live in Seattle.

This summer, you too can re-energize your park mojo by trying some of Seattle’s lesser-known, wonderful parks. Here are seven favorite finds.