In Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv talks about how the natural world is being lost to our children. No longer do children have the chance to roam around in the world of nature. They’re either too busy or its seems unsafe among other reasons.
As I read the book, it brought me back to my own childhood experience with nature and how it has shaped my life. I am one of the fortunate children who still had a connection to the land through the family farm and later in early teenagerhood I moved to to a small hobby farm.
God’s creation was part of my life from the very beginning. I remember fondly in winter skating on the pond, walking out on the ice of Lake Ontario with my dad, and playing in the snow. There were camping trips to the Allegheny Mountains and Watkins Glen. When I was older I spent countless hours looking out the car window at the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. These memories bring joy to my heart.
As an adult one of my favorite place I lives was in Welland, Ontario. And what did I love? The nature. On Sunday afternoons I would hop on my bake and ride up and down the recreational canal or to the end of Merrit Island and back.
This past summer I visited Sweden and I enjoyed being in nature the best.
Based on my own experiences I can see that Louv is right about the importance of nature in one’s life and our children should not be left out.
Near the end of the book Louv takes a look at nature from a spiritual perspective, and although he does not solely look at it from a Christian perspective, he does bring up the importance of nature to the church and how we as Christians need to joint together to preserve nature. God created the heavens and the earth and he made Adam and Eve care takers of the earth. Part of taking care of the earth is to build on and to use our creativity to make technology, it also means that we are to respect it and not damage it beyond repair.
Now looking at Louv’s book from the perspective of a librarian has caused me to think about how I can bring more nature into the library for the students that I teach. Of course, I can add more books which are nature themed and encourage the students to read them. Another way it could be done is to bring more plants into the library. I even had the idea to ask a student to be a guardian of the plants to keep them watered, this would add more participation to the library and ensure that the plants don’t die from lack of water. The last idea I had was to use the gigantic windows in the late winter/early spring to attempt grow some seedling and then give away the plants a way to people at planting time. This way the students would have a chance to see how a single seed can grow into a plant and also bring a little bit of nature inside. We could read books about things that grow such as The Carrot Seed and Cactus Hotel to help the youngest students learn about nature in person and through books!