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San Diego Author Discusses Ways To Combat Nature Deficit

This undated photo shows author Richard Louv.
Eric B. Dynowski
This undated photo shows author Richard Louv.

San Diego Author Discusses Ways To Combat Nature Deficit
San Diego Author Discusses Ways To Combat Nature Deficit GUEST: Richard Louv, author, "Vitamin N: 500 Ways to Enrich Your Family’s Health and Happiness of Your Family and Community"

This is KPBS midday edition. What would happen if we took some time to listen to the heartbeat of the tree? Or turn your commute for Safari. When on a hike with your BB. San Diego author Richard Louv introduced the concept of nature deficit in his best-selling book last Child in the woods. Know is that with a book fulltext to reverse that deficit. The book is called vitamin and the essential guide to nature risk a life Vitamin N: 500 Ways to Enrich Your Family Health and Happiness of Your Family and Community" joining me now is Richard Louv. Welcome back. I get the impression that this book was inspired by a lot of people telling you they want to get out into nature more often but they didn't know how to do it though is that right? Things have changed since we were kids and your parents that go outside and come back in when the streetlights come on. That doesn't happen very much anymore. So we really need rather to live in the style showing new ways pelted the 500 things in this book are not only for families but for grandparents, and churches, but they can do in synagogues and other places of worship, libraries are now becoming natural. And whole communities. I like to challenge San Diego not do this at the event that's coming up. Elected challenge San Diego to decide to be America's finest city for children and nature. It's actually make that old slogan and give it some stuff of the city and I Touche specificity nature last child in the woods. It's working with the National League of cities which is 19,000 mayors. So I back to challenge our Mayor to consider doing not just declare five goals, Needham and give ourselves an award. [ Laughter ] That sound easy enough. You mentioned that we don't tell the kids come home and streetlights come on the way we used to do in olden days. What other kinds of obstacles have you heard about that make it difficult for both kids and adults to enjoy nature know. In the 21st century. Many of the fiber things are very simple things that people can do in their own yards or in their own neighborhood. Even if it's a very high density urban neighborhood. There's lots of things you can do, camping on the roof is one of them fell I describe that. The one of the things that's changed is how much fear people feel. The news media has really magnified this year greatly beyond the reality that violent crime for children has been going down. But the fear remains and I felt that as a parent. Someone in the things that is being done is creating [Indiscernible]. One of them in San Diego started by Janice and her husband Ron that's chief conservationist of San Diego zero. One of his family nature clubs has over 1500 families. That couple families in tapping tunes they were going to the park on Saturday, let's go for a hike Constable families together felt that deals with the fear because it proceeds safety in numbers spell it doesn't cost anything. You can download a free toolkit. And vitamin and tells you how to do that. Take back and remind us about the concept of nature deficit disorder. What do we lose when we are disconnected from the natural world? This is rather new research. But in the last 15 years increasingly honeyed does hundreds of studies are showing the benefit. At attention deficit disorder symptoms go down. Stress goes down. Just a little bit of contact nature. Productivity even in the workplace in the workplace. Also in school. I happen to believe that the real cutting edge of education in the future event technology pellets could be nature preschools. I've seen families upfront and let me tell you the statistics are astonishing. If 950 school if nature is Berkoff human nature rich school as I described standardized testing scores go way up. Maybe the easiest most cost-effective way we can use. The gardens and all that. Parents of the first line of education and making use nature as a teaching tool as well as for their kids and their own mental health and physical health. How is the book? There's a lot of tips. Are the tips grouped in a certain way? Value Line to challenge me to remember the table of contents. [ Laughter ] It starts out with the simple things families can do how to deal with different things such as no such bad thing just wrong) there's a part of the senses of developing, what I call supercenters. Turns out human beings have at least 10 senses. Some scientists say we have as many as 30. We don't use them very much. So there's a whole section on how to develop the senses. Were doing I think is creating environments in schools and homes and when you think about it were spending more of our energy. I like technology that I happen to believe that more high-tech [Indiscernible] is the more nature we need. Think of all the energy we spend blocking out most of those 30 senses that we can focus on that screen. Forcing kids and chairs in schools longer hours, canceling recess, cutting back on field trips and they're spending all that energy looking at screens increasingly blocking their screens. That's the definition of being less alive. What parent wants their child to be less alive. What teacher wants their students to be less alive. Maybe some do but most don't [ Laughter ] . I know you're going to have a formal launch at point Loma and University on Tuesday, April 19. You're going to make this very specific to San Diego, aren't you. Also to the organizations in San Diego that are doing such a good job connecting the families and kids to nature. Including ones in the lower income neighborhoods. This isn't just for suburban folks. Going to issue this challenge for America's finest cities for children and nature. And I want to point out that at this event, which is organized for a bit of me, I'm pleased they did it. The books will be sold there. So will last child in the woods and my other books. The proceeds from those politics and from the small fee to get into the event with those proceeds will go to local organizations that are connecting kids to nature and families to nature in San Diego. Richard news latest book is called vitamin N. Vitamin N: 500 Ways to Enrich Your Family Health and Happiness of Your Family and Community Richard thank you very much for Thanks.

San Diego author Richard Louv introduced the concept of nature deficit in his New York Times best-selling book "Last Child In The Woods."

Now, he's out with a new book called "Vitamin N: 500 Ways to Enrich Your Family’s Health and Happiness of Your Family and Community", which is full of tips to reverse that deficit.

"The 500 things in this book are not only for families, they're for grandparents, churches, libraries and whole communities," Louv said. "I'd like to challenge San Diego to decide to be America's finest city for children and nature, to actually give that slogan some specificity."

Louv said he wants to challenge San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to declare five goals aimed at making the city more "nature rich."

But connecting with nature can also start at home. In his book, Louv encourages families to explore the places they think they know. Some of his suggestions: rooftop camping and a backyard tea party.

A book launch event will be held April 19 at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Louv, the co-founder of the Children & Nature Network, will discuss his new book Wednesday on Midday Edition.

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