The Ecology of Hope: Reconnecting Children and Nature : Living Green Magazine

25/12/2012 0:00
The Ecology of Hope: Reconnecting Children and Nature : Living Green Magazine

You’ll have to excuse me if these next few items aren’t timely. I save them when I see them and rarely have time to post them.  Regardless of when they were written they’re still very pertinent.

Great article. It focusses on the idea that just like hair or eye colour, comprehension and appreciation of  nature is hereditary. Hereditary in the nurture sense.

Full article can be read from the link above.   

Ecology is a term my grandfather, Perl Charles, taught me. He was born in 1899, the oldest of four children of Bula and Tom Charles, who settled in New Mexico in 1907. Granddad, as were many in the family, was a lifelong conservationist. Humorous and wise, he epitomized common sense.

He taught me that all parts of any environment, living and nonliving, exist in relationship to one another in an ecology. Combine ecology with hope, and we get what I am calling the Ecology of Hope.

For many reasons, beginning with the enormity of the challenges we face – from the malaise of the culture of depression to the ravages of lost biodiversity and global climate change, to the fragmentation of families, to the disillusion of many youth – we, who can, need to demonstrate the positive power of the Ecology of Hope.

We can exercise the will, make conscious choices, and cultivate a sense of efficacy in ourselves and others. We can make life better for children, and ourselves, by opening the door to the first classroom – the natural world, from backyards to neighborhoods to parks and public places.

We can inspire in children a belief that the world can be a better place. We can go a long way to achieving that goal by reconnecting children and nature.

……We together can heal the separation between children and nature. We can reestablish a healthy, natural balance between technology and natural systems. We can build a movement that succeeds in reconnecting children and nature and in that process inspires a new generation to believe in a better future.

We can be a generation that leaves a legacy of leadership and an Ecology of Hope.

Cheryl Charles, Ph.D., is an educator, author, innovator and organizational executive, and cofounder of the Children & Nature Network(

Tess Michaels