A healthy place for children

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Have we commented enough about the Pringle Creek “Experience” that includes providing wonderful places to meet and gather, opportunities to share time with your neighbors at the community garden, village store, or local deli? How about the importance of children? Yes, we’ll have a children’s park with a play structure and nature area but we’ll also have lots of chances for informal and organized learning. The Sustainable Living Center will provide opportunities for children and their parents to be students and instructors. To create their own lessons and classes. And yes, Pringle Creek is within easy walking distance of Leslie Middle School (see this Jeanine Stice column [no longer available] very complimentary of Leslie) and the proposed new elementary school at Fairview.

We believe children will thrive in a culture of connection at Pringle Creek Community. Our rainwater management plan will give children an intimate connection with the natural flow of water. Our blue-green bio-swales will be lush reminders of nature at every street corner. The beautiful reflecting swales at the Village Center will immediately intrigue visitors and residents with their beauty and the game of guessing how much rain fell and how long the reflecting pond will remain until all the water infiltrates through the crushed granite soil. Pringle Creek will be a place to play, our fir grove and sequoia grove parks with their 80 and 100 year old trees will be places to spark the imagination. Trails along Pringle Creek that wind through parks and community gardens will bring children full circle to a connection with all kinds of nature. Native plants, fruit trees and living gardens. Families and friends growing food for themselves and their neighbors. Healthy food, food security, trees, water, air, plants – the connections are growing. Above all else Pringle Creek is about the health of our children and their world.

Here is a remarkable book about the issue of children disconnected from nature, children who today spend far too much time plugged into televisions, Ipods, computers, cell phones, game cubes, x-boxes, and Wii. Wow.

Richard Louv, chairman of Children & Nature Network, is the author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, about children and nature, how society encourages kids to avoid direct experience in nature. From the publisher:

As children’s connections to nature diminish and the social, psychological, and spiritual implications become apparent, new research shows that nature can offer powerful therapy for such maladies as depression, obesity, and attentiondeficit disorder. Environment-based education dramatically improves standardized test scores and grade-point averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that childhood experiences in nature stimulate creativity.