.

Rye Y and Nature Center Getting Kids Outdoors

The Rye YMCA and Rye Nature Center will host a discussion with community leaders about nature deficit disorder, kids health and being outdoors.

A walk through the woods of southern Westchester may offer more than just a few hours of fresh air and exercise for a child. Research shows that time spent outdoors is good for their psychological and emotional development, according to the Rye YMCA’s Director of Community Impact and Social Responsibility Denise Woodin.

Woodin and Christine Siller of the Rye Nature Center have organized a community collaboration that will bring environmentalists, teachers, parents, advocates, youth leaders and businesspeople together to address the importance of getting kids outside.

“I was inspired by my 10-year-old daughter. Walking through the woods and seeing that look on her face as she climbs over logs and scales rocks,” Woodin said.

She believes all children should get used to regularly experiencing this kind of exploration and imagination.

Several weeks ago Woodin attended a YMCA conference called Healthier Communities Learning Institute in Denver and there was one workshop on Outdoor Play Strategies.  She and Siller also are familiar with author Richard Louv's book, "Last Child in the Woods," which coined "nature deficit disorder," a term to describe the disconnect between the current generation of children and the natural world.  The book and conference inspired Woodin to reach out to the Rye Nature Center (RNC) and see how the two groups could work together to address nature deficit disorder.

Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.

The Y and RNC have collaborated before, and RNC’s Executive Director Christine Siller was glad to join Woodin in her efforts.

“There is definitely and intersection of our missions,” Siller said of the two organizations. The RNC has several kids programs designed to get kids outside on hiking trails and physically interacting with animals, which leads to science education. RNC also promotes programs that protect natural resources and promote environmental awareness. The Y promotes positive values through programs that build spirit, mind and body.

The two explained an “ecophobia” they see in well-intentioned parents that want kids to be healthy, organic and outdoorsy, but who are then too nervous to let kids explore and get dirty.

“We need to get parents to overcome their fears and get outside in simple ways,” Woodin said.

Woodin and Siller hope their discussion will first help get kids outdoors and then grow to encourage older children, teens and adults to spend more time in nature.

The two will host the Kids Outdoors Community Collaboration to Address Nature Deficit Disorder on Wed., Oct. 24 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. with invited community leaders at the Rye Nature Center. Check back with Patch for updates on the outcome of that conversation. 

Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. .


tedc October 04, 2012 at 08:29 PM
““We need to get parents to overcome their fears and get outside in simple ways,” Woodin said. Woodin and Siller hope their discussion will first help get kids outdoors and then grow to encourage older children, teens and adults to spend more time in nature.” I only hope Ms. Woodlin & Siller may not be playing a form of Russian Roulette with these Rye children. As Ms. Siller knows, West Nile Virus (which only arrived in NY in 1999) is transmitted by mosquitoes and it targets the young and the old - especially those with compromised immune systems. Today an older Mamaroneck man is close to death from WNV complications. http://www.hometwn.com/hometown-media-group/harrison-report/mamaroneck-man-latest-victim-of-west-nile-virus/ Here in Rye a child is now recovering from encephalitis, possibly caused by WNV. And other local cases many soon be reported as hospital paperwork get completed.
tedc October 04, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I personally let Ms. Siller know that the test results for West Nile Virus from the New York State Lab issued on July 30th showed the following at Rye Nature Center: Collected on July 8th – positive for Culex pipiens-restuans – pool 20 Collected on July 17th - positive for Culex pipiens-restuans – pool 55 Collected on July 17th - positive for Culex pipiens-restuans – pool 10 Collected on July 18th - positive for Culex pipiens-restuans – pool 60 Collected on July 18th - positive for Culex pipiens-restuans – pool 40 I know Ms. Siller took precautions based on this information – including having the centers’ outdoor display “bathtub” loaded with stagnant rainwater immediately drained and removed. But Rye government officials, unlike those in neighboring Fairfield County or New York City refuse to confront the present dangers of WNV. Instead Rye prefers to outsource its basic common sense judgments to a corrupt and dangerous Westchester County Health Department in White Plains. Michael Bloomberg (far from perfect but not corrupt) would fire pretty much everyone in charge at this pathetic government patronage mill but Bloomberg’s jurisdiction stops in the Bronx. Here’s an idea Ms. Siller – and real simple one. Mosquitoes generally do not survive the first frost. Schedule these events for children at Rye Nature Center after that date for safety’s sake. Use your common sense, not Rye government nonsense.
tedc October 04, 2012 at 08:31 PM
After all, you drained that bathtub right? You’ve got common sense.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something