SBC Museum’s Dome Talks to feature Nature Advocate and Author Richard Louv

By on March 6, 2018

Author Richard Louv – credited with coining the term “nature-deficit disorder” and helping to inspire an international movement to reintroduce children to nature – will be the featured speaker at the Thursday, March 8 Dome Talks offered at the San Bernardino County (SBC) Museum. The Museum and the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio have joined forces to host Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.

The partnership of the Museum and the local Girl Scouts Council is a natural fit for Louv’s presentation. Girl Scouts have long been known for their emphasis on outdoor activities for girls of all ages. Likewise, the SBC Museum sponsors multiple programs and exhibits that highlight nature and the outdoor opportunities in the local area.

“The Museum, with its renowned natural history collections, and Girl Scouts, with more than 100 years of experience in outdoor education, recognize that nature is essential to the health and character development of all children and young adults,” said Cynthia H. Breunig, president & CEO of Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio. “When a girl or boy experiences the joy of sleeping under the stars and of telling stories around camp fires late into the dark, quiet night, their lives are changed forever. They become connected to the natural flow and rhythm of nature; they become connected in a profound way to something larger than themselves. Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council is committed to continuing our legacy of camp and outdoor fun.”

Louv’s assessment of today’s children being afflicted with “nature-deficit disorder” was his way of describing the possible negative consequences to individual health and the social fabric as children move indoors and away from physical contact with the natural world – particularly unstructured, solitary experience. His groundbreaking research pointed to problems associated with a nature-deficient childhood including attention disorders, obesity, a dampening of creativity and depression.

At the time Last Child in the Woods was published The Washington Post wrote: “[The] national movement to ‘leave no child inside’ . . . has been the focus of Capitol Hill hearings, state legislative action, grass-roots projects, a U.S. Forest Service initiative to get more children into the woods and a national effort to promote a ‘green hour’ in each day… The increased activism has been partly inspired by a best-selling book, Last Child in the Woods, and its author, Richard Louv.”

SBC Museum Director Melissa Russo said, “More than a decade after Louv’s brilliant social observations, our society continues to struggle with a severe lack of child engagement with the outdoors, but there’s hopeful signs that his book helped spawn behavioral shifts in how families spend their leisure time. We see this in the popularity of museum programs that highlight nature topics.”

Tickets for Dome Talks are $25 per person, per evening. No discounts apply for this presentation. Tickets can be purchased at the Museum’s welcome desk, by calling the Museum at 909-798-8608, or on-line at www.sbcounty.gov/museum. Advance ticket purchases are recommended for Dome Talks presentations as seating is limited. The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane. Parking is free and the Museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.