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Sonoma County Gazette
Day of the Child

Help Fight Nature Deficit Disorder by
CelebratingDia Del Niño/ Day of the Child

Mar 13, 2018


By Sandi Funke

In a time of iPads, iPhones, and xBox our local children may be suffering from “Nature Deficit Disorder.” This term, coined by Dr. Richard Louv in his book,Last Child in the Woods, refers to the fact that humans especially children spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of problems. Yet there are a multitude of benefits in getting kids outdoors asDr. Chawla recently summarized from research spanning the last 30 years. After analyzing numerous studies, she reported that benefits from contact with nature include positive outcomes in physical health, cognitive functioning, self-control, psychological well-being, and affiliation with other species and the natural world. And yet, families can be at a loss. Where to go? What to do? What about the creepy crawlies?

One way families can get to know some of our amazing open spaces and take part on some new nature activities is by celebratingDay of the Child/ Dia Del Niño on Sunday, April 29, 2018. Hosted by the Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative (SEEC), eleven Sonoma County parks, nature centers, preserves, and interpretive centers will open their doors from 12 am to 4 pm offering amazing outdoor explorations, nature crafts, creek walks, ziplines, bird box building, kayaking, music, dancing, hands-on activities, family nature walks, and so much more!! There is something for everyone and sites will be open from Petaluma to Occidental and in between!

 All offerings are free and several will be offered in English and Spanish. To learn more, visit our interactive storymap at under the tab “Day of the Child.” Participants can visit one of the eleven sites or may choose to visit several. The storymap includes directions to each site as well as times for site-specific activities.

SEEC is a regional collaboration of environmental education groups whose aim in working together is to increase environmental literacy in Sonoma County. To learn more about the Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative, please visit:

Sandi Funke is the Education Director, Pepperwood Preserve. You can email her at


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