I have worked with schools to create natural areas on school grounds for nature study… I didn’t realize I was missing a critical component… allowing kids to PLAY in and MANIPULATE those environments. Sadly, I had been operating from the perspective that natural areas were to be enjoyed by walking through them, observing them, studying them. I had forgotten that when I was a kid, I didn’t just observe nature, I dammed creeks, dug in the dirt, made forts out of branches, and more. What a gift of play to give kids today!
– John Davis, “Get Back to Where It All Began: Recognizing One of Biology’s Essential Ingredients – Play,” The New Nature Movement (August 24, 2015)