If you have questions or comments concerning a specific greenspace, event or program, please find the contact information of the partner who manages that greenspace, event or program and contact them directly. Use the partners page to locate the partner's contact information.
Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin Wonder and Joy, it’s in our nature! Who Are We? The Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin is a new private/public partnership non-profit organization dedicated to creating social change so that kids throughout Central Texas have easy and frequent connections to our natural world. CINC - Austin collaborates with parents, educators, health professionals, developers and parks and environmental education groups to create remedies for “Nature Deficit Disorder” – a term coined by author Richard Louv in his book “Last Child in the Woods, Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder”. The mission of the Austin Children in Nature Collaborative is to ignite and fan the flames of the regional movement to reconnect kids to the wonder and joy of the natural world. Why do we matter? Being in nature makes kids happier, healthier and smarter. Why do we even need to say something that seems so obvious? As reported by the international Children& Nature Network, without most of us realizing what was happening, lifestyle changes have accumulated with powerful and pervasive detrimental effects on children. Obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder, impaired social skills and even what some, including Richard Louv, are calling a “culture of depression” are adding to the stress levels and severely impacting our young. Things are out of balance. As a result, our society is suffering from “Nature Deficit Disorder” which includes increased feelings of stress, trouble paying attention and feelings of not being rooted in our world. Researchers have found that engagement with nature buffers against life stresses and increases one’s ability to be attentive. Also, by having an intimate relationship with nature and feeling deeply rooted in the earth, children are more likely to understand the importance of becoming good stewards of and protecting the land, water and sky. What do we believe? As people from all walks of life we believe in the restorative effects of nature - for children, families and communities.
- Connection: Nature provides an opportunity to deepen our relationship to our self, each other and out environment.
- Respect: Learning to respect nature and others is fundamental for our wellbeing, the wellness of others and the Earth as a whole.
- Access: To engage and connect to nature, all children and families need access to information, resources, and developmentally appropriate activities.
- Nature as Teacher and Nurturer: Children need the opportunity to explore nature through open-ended, unstructured and self-initiated play.
- Role Models: Children need the guidance of a caring adult who can share with them a love of the natural works and inspire a send of awe and wonder.
- Community and Society: Preserving and creating natural places to come together allows us to experience one another and to grow as neighbors and as communities.
NOTE: Some of the information above is based on the literature from the Children and Nature Network with whom we’ve had a long-time partnership. For more information about the Children and Nature Network, go to www.childrenandnature.org. Notice and Disclaimer In your efforts to connect children with nature, CINC-Austin would like to remind parents and other adults that there are risks associated with outdoor activities. CINC-Austin recommends that before you start on your adventures, you become aware of and alert children to any unsafe areas or conditions that may be present in your surroundings. You should also be aware of your and your children’s physical limitations and always take necessary safety precautions while exploring the outdoors. In addition, our Web site contains information written by third parties and links to third-party Web sites. This information may not necessarily reflect the views of CINC-Austin or any of its members, directors or employees, and the inclusion of this information does not imply an endorsement of that information by CINC-Austin. CINC-Austin does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any third-party information contained in this Web site or any link on the Web site.