Conference provides discussion on outdoor education for youth

Triton College will once again serve as the host site for the annual Leave No Child Inside Conference from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013.

In conjunction with Chicago Wilderness, the conference, which is the only one of its kind nationwide and is open to the public, will highlight the educational, economical and health benefits associated with outdoor education for youth through an open forum designed to allow those who attend the opportunity to network and share lessons learned in the regional effort to connect children with nature.

About 150 individuals, including environmental educators, teachers, community partners, students, architects and other professionals, are expected to participate in the conference entitled "From Research to Practice: Nurturing the Connection Between Children and Nature." Topics to be discussed will include partnerships with nontraditional allies, creative use of small outdoor spaces, engaging teens and young adults and model capacity-building programs.      

The guest speaker will be Dr. Andrea Faber Taylor, a researcher with the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory and instructor in Horticulture at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Taylor's research consists of the benefits of greener environments for children, including such findings as more creative play and greater concentration and self-discipline. Her research on the benefits of nature on children with ADHD has resulted in extensive coverage in the media.

The Leave No Child Inside initiative is funded in part by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, USDA Forest Service and the Chicago Wilderness Corporate Council.

The conference will be held in Room B-204, on the second floor of the Student Center (B-Building). For more information, contact Adrian Fisher, Sustainability Center Coordinator, at (708) 456-0300, ext. 3578 or e-mail afisher@triton.edu. You can also visit www.chicagowilderness.org for more information or to register.