Getting kids into nature makes them happier, healthier and smarter

NRLogo This Saturday, September 25th, is the first annual Nature Rocks Day. Nature Rocks is ecoAmerica's program created to inspire and empower parents to reconnect with nature for happier, healthier and smarter children. Numerous studies indicate that time outdoors produces incredible benefits including more focus in the classroom – something most parents are thinking about as their kids head back to class this fall.

Nature Rocks Day is a national event to commemorate the launch of Nature Rock's newest partner the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and many of the events are being held at their wildlife refuges around the country. Nature Rocks Day is an opportunity to get into nature with family and friends and start the school year off right – outside! Official Nature Rocks Day event locations are available on the Nature Rocks home page and you will also find the official guide for the day there to download. One of the locations, the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, will even feature co-founder of the Children and Nature Network and author Richard Louv. Check out the official press release below for more details.


 Nature Rocks DayTM Kicks Off the Collaboration With over 10 Events Across the US on September 25

WASHINGTON, DC – September 22, 2010 – Today Nature Rocks, a national initiative created to inspire and empower parents to enjoy quality time in nature with their families, announced a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the fifth national organization to partner with Nature Rocks, founded by Children & Nature Network and ecoAmerica, joining The Nature Conservancy, REI, the American Camp Association and the American Heart Association, in a shared goal of bringing families together through activities in nature for healthier, happier, and smarter kids. 


By joining forces with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nature Rocks will expand its online tools for parents to give them even more ways to get their families out in nature. The US FWS  brings more than 60 years of experience connecting American families and nature to Nature Rocks, adding invaluable new content to, including information on over 500 refuges and hatcheries, and regional events including fishing, wildlife observation, and more. 


“We’re thrilled to have the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service join Nature Rocks in our mission to help kids and families get outdoors,” said Richard Louv, founding partner of Nature Rocks, and co-founder of Children & Nature Network. Louv is also the author of “Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder”. “This prestigious organization brings its reputation and resources to our growing fan base, empowering parents to make nature a part of every childhood with new access to information on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service activities and its National Wildlife Refuge System where families can find limitless opportunities to enjoy and explore outdoors.”


 “We look forward to our partnership with Nature Rocks, as we are committed to connecting children and families with nature,” said Jay Slack, Director, National Conservation Training Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We hope that by encouraging more people to get outside and involved with nature – starting while they are young with family-driven activities – that we can inspire more people to have a lifelong love of the natural world and to pursue careers in nature with our organization, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other agencies within the Department of Interior.”


Together Nature Rocks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will work to:

  • Get families outdoors and integrate play and exploration in nature into daily routines
  • Facilitate the incorporation of nature activities into family life
  • Build support for healthy ecosystems by demonstrating that nature is important to family well-being, and childrens’ health, happiness and success in school
  • Introduce families to new nature destinations and programs, such as the refuges associated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


About Nature Rocks Day

With school back in session, Nature Rocks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are encouraging parents and teachers to get kids out in nature now. Studies indicate that kids who spend more time outdoors tend to do better on tests and have more focus in the classroom. The two organizations are kicking off their partnership with Nature Rocks Day on September 25, where families are invited to spend a day at one of the Fish and Wildlife Service refuges or other participating locations across the country. September 25 is also National Public Lands Day and part of Take a Child Outside Week (Sept.24-30).


The purpose of Nature Rocks Day is to provide a concrete opportunity for families to explore, learn, be active and enjoy nature, and to highlight the benefits of time in nature – better health, happiness and results in the classroom.


Events will take place in the following locations:

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge – Chincoteague, VA

Forsythe NWR – Oceanville, NJ

Big Stone NWR/WMD – Odessa, MN

Wallkill River NWR – Sussex ,NJ

Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery – Warm Springs, GA

Wheeler NWR – Decatur, AL

Desert National Wildlife Refuge – Las Vegas, NV

Roma Bluffs World Birding Center – Roma, TX

San Diego NWRC Sweetwater Marsh – Chula Vista, CA

Coleman National Fish Hatchery – Anderson, CA

Hassayampa River Preserve – Wickenberg, AZ

Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve – Homer, AK

Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute – Tucson, AZ


All families and schools are invited to participate, through official events or by creating Nature Rocks Days of their own. For more details on Nature Rocks Day, and to download the activity guide, visit


About Nature RocksTM

Nature Rocks is a program developed by the Children & Nature Network and ecoAmerica to inspire and empower families to play and explore in nature for healthier, happier and smarter children. The website and all related materials are updated frequently to provide families with the most current tools and information to connect with nature, including nature and event finders, community tools, over 100 activity ideas, and seasonal activity guides. Current partners are The Nature Conservancy, REI, the American Heart Association, the American Camp Association and The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To learn more about Nature Rocks and its partners, please visit Support us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at



About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit <>.


About ecoAmericaTM

ecoAmerica is a non-profit that uses consumer research and strategic partnerships to create large-scale engagement programs that build awareness, understanding and action for climate and environmental solutions among mainstream Americans. 


About Children & Nature NetworkTM

The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working nationally and internationally to reconnect children with nature. The network provides a critical link between researchers and individuals, educators and organizations dedicated to children's health and well-being. 


For additional information, please contact:

Monica Rohleder, Signal Rock Communications on behalf of Nature Rocks

847-606-1973 / [email protected]







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