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Louv Says Doctors Are Actually 'Prescribing Nature'

Bestselling author Richard Louv came to Minnetonka to promote increased exposure to nature in childhood.

On Earth Day, about 100 people gathered at Ridgedale Library to hear author Richard Louv. Louv wrote the bestseller Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. 

Louv asked the audience to "imagine a life where we are as immersed in nature as we are in technology."

According to Louv, 80 percent of Americans live in metropolitan areas, and the reduced exposure to the natural world has a negative impact. 

"Exposure to nature is essential for a child's healthy development," he said. 

Louv cited studies that indicate that contact with nature can reduce the symptoms of attention deficit disorder (ADD). Louv added that some pediatricians in Portland, Oregon are actually "prescribing nature" for patients as part of a project in cooperation with the city's park system. 

When it comes to nature, Louv said, "Conservation is no longer enough. Now we need to create it."

Louv's book offers suggestions for businesses, schools, and communities to take action. More information can be found at Louv's non-profit Children & Nature Network at www.childrenandnature.org.

Becky Glander (Editor) April 24, 2012 at 01:48 PM
I feel like my daughter is well-exposed to nature. Do you think kids in Minnetonka have access to the outdoors more so than in other areas of the state and country?

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