Author Discusses the Importance of Outdoor Experiences for Children at Colorado State University Oct. 26

Richard Louv, San Diego Union-Tribune columnist and author of "Last Child in the Woods," will discuss the importance of spending time in nature in respect to the development, creativity and health of children at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Colorado State University Lory Student Center Theater. A book signing will follow the presentation.

Louv’s 2005 book, "Last Child in the Woods," sparked interest and served as a catalyst for dialogue concerning the importance of spending time in nature for children. Recent research has shown the positive impact of the outdoors on creativity, independence, intellect and other developmental processes in children today.

In his book, Louv identifies trends and realities in the United States that inhibit opportunities for children and families to spend time outdoors. Trends tend to include over-scheduling kids with structured activities, less flexibility in school curriculum for field trips, the increase in popularity of electronics in which children spend more time sitting in front of a TV or computer than exploring in the outdoors.

In his presentation, Louv will also address concerns about possible implications in the future if today’s children fail to connect to the natural environment during their formative years. Previous research has consistently demonstrated how stewardship and care for the outdoors in adulthood has often been correlated to positive outdoor experiences as a child. If such experiences fail to materialize for today’s youth, Louv argues it could have adverse implications in regards to their concern and commitment to environmental stewardship when they become adults.  

In addition to being a columnist for The San Diego Union-Tribune, Louv has written for the New York Times and other newspapers. He served as a columnist and member of the editorial advisory board for Parents magazine. Louv has also appeared on several news programs including "The Today Show" and "Good Morning America."

Louv is a visiting scholar at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He is an advisor to the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World award program and the Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

This event is sponsored by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas, Boy Scouts Longs Peak Council, Girl Scouts Mountain Prairie Council, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Colorado State University’s Warner College of Natural Resources and Environmental Learning Center.

Tickets are $5.50 and available through the Campus Box Office at (970) 491-4849 or A limited number of tickets will be available at the door on the night of the event.