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Last Child in the Woods

Earth Day Celebrations Planned at ECU

The growing use of technology provides numerous hours of entertainment for adults and children alike, but does this helpful tool hinder our children’s connection with nature and the outside world? Journalist and best-selling author Richard Louv will discuss the topic of children and nature in a free, public presentation at East Carolina University in conjunction with two Earth Day events co-sponsored by the North Carolina Center for Biodiversity.

Louv will present “Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder,” at 7 p.m. April 15, in the Science and Technology Building, Room C-307. Based on his book by the same name, Louv has stimulated an international conversation about the relationship between children and nature. His coined term, nature-deficit disorder, has become the defining phrase of this important issue. A book signing will immediately follow Louv’s presentation.

“We are very excited to have Mr. Louv join us for our Earth Day celebration,” says Heather Vance Chalcraft, assistant director of outreach for the North Carolina Center for Biodiversity and ECU professor of biology. “His efforts have been instrumental in reminding the world that even in this age of technology, children need to have a deep connection with nature.”

In addition to authoring seven books, his newest “The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder,” Louv has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times of London and other major publications. Notably, he also serves as the chairman and co-founder of the Children & Nature Network, an organization helping build the movement to connect today’s children and future generations to the natural world.

Among his many accolades Louv is the recipient of the 2008 San Diego Zoological Society Conservation Medal, the 2008 George B. Rabb Conservation Medal from the Chicago Zoological Society and the 2009 International Making Cities Livable Jane Jacobs Award. Recently, he was named Honorary Co-chairman, with Canadian artist Robert Bateman, of Canada’s national Children and Nature Alliance.

In continuation of Earth Day, on April 16, a free, family-oriented outdoor event will be held from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at River Park North in Greenville. Many ECU and community organizations will be present with interactive, hands-on exhibits and natural history activities that focus on environmental issues.

For additional information about either Earth Day event, contact Vance Chalcraft at 252-328-9841 or vancechalcrafth@ecu.edu. Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event. A complete list of sponsors for Louv’s visit can be viewed at www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/biology/ncbiodiversity/earthday2011.cfm.