World’s Largest Gathering of Leaders Working to Connect Children to the Benefits of Nature

ATLANTA April 25, 2022: Children today spend as much as 90% of their time indoors, much of it on screens – a trend that has serious implications for their health and well-being. Leaders and activists working to reverse this trend will gather in Atlanta May 9-12, 2022 for the Inside-Out International Conference. The four-day event, taking place at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, will feature Dr. Jane Goodall and Yolanda Renee King, and will highlight programs, policies and practices for creating equitable access to healthy outdoor experiences for children, families and communities.

Research increasingly tells us that regular time in nature makes children healthier, happier and more successful in school,” says Sarah Milligan-Toffler, president and CEO of the Children & Nature Network, producer of the conference. “The Inside-Out conference brings together a broad range of experts working to turn the trend of an indoor childhood back out to the benefits of nature, with a focus on increasing equitable access to outdoor learning and play.”

The Inside-Out Conference is timely, following a recent U.S. Surgeon General advisory stating an “urgent need to address a youth mental health crisis” brought on by the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, war, social unrest and more. “There are dozens of studies indicating the power of nature to reduce stress, improve mental health and help young people recover from trauma,” continues Milligan-Toffler. “Children need time in nature now more than ever. The work that children and nature leaders are doing to dismantle systemic barriers to nature is critical.”

Dr. Jane Goodall, via live remote from England, will join author and Children & Nature Network co-founder Richard Louv in a conversation about how a connection to nature is essential for the health and well-being of children, animals and the planet – both today and for generations to come. A diversity of other experts will participate as well, including an inspirational appearance by Yolanda Renee King, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s granddaughter and a youth activist. The conference will also feature keynotes, panels, workshops and field trips covering policy and public sector leadership; green schoolyards and outdoor learning; youth development; family engagement; equity and inclusion; community health and more. Registration for the conference and details about the program and presenters are available at childrenandnature.org/inside-out/. “Anyone interested in connecting children, families and communities to the benefits of nature is encouraged to attend,” says Milligan-Toffler.



CONFERENCE AT A GLANCE:

What: Children & Nature Network Inside-Out International Conference

When: May 9-12, 2022

Where: Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 265 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta

Attendance: 600+ cross sector advocates from 10+ nations; attendees include a broad range of leaders, practitioners,

policy makers, educators, researchers, urban planners, outdoor rec representatives, parents and more

Register: Open to the public; register at www.childrenandnature.org/inside-out/

Cost: Full conference registration: $495.00 | 1-day registration: $250.00 | Virtual ticket: $125.00

Highlights: Monday, May 9, 11am-4pm ET: Spotlight on Atlanta: Green Schoolyards for Healthy

Communities, highlighting the work of Atlanta Community Schoolyard Initiative partners and

outdoor learning efforts in the state of Georgia.

Tuesday, May 10: Expert panel (9-10am ET) on what it takes to build and sustain a successful national movement, followed by workshops, walkshops and a series of TEDx-style talks about outdoor learning and breaking down barriers to nature.

Wednesday, May 11: Expert panel (9-10am ET) on nature’s role in helping youth recover from trauma, followed by workshops, walkshops and a series of TEDx-style talks highlighting municipal strategies for creating equitable access to nature.

Thursday May 12:

  • 9am ET: Yolanda Renee King, opening comments

  • 10am ET: Dr. Jane Goodall in conversation with author and Children & Nature Network co-founder Richard Louv

  • 1-4pm ET: Bring it Outdoors! Family Festival with Hike it Baby at Rodney Cook Park, Atlanta. This event is free and open to the public.

2022 Presenting sponsors: Pisces Foundation, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and PlayCore

Atlanta co-hosts: West Atlanta Watershed Alliance and Environmental Education Alliance

FOR MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA

A limited number of press passes are available for media interested in reporting on the conference. Children & Nature Network leaders and external experts are available to provide background or for interviews. Contact media@childrenandnature.org.

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About the Children & Nature Network

The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) supports a global movement of leaders working to turn the trend of an indoor childhood back out to the benefits of nature — and to make sure that all children have equitable access to outdoor spaces where they can learn, play and grow. We power this movement by investing in community leadership, sharing evidence-based resources, scaling innovative solutions and driving policy change. C&NN is a 501c3 non-profit organization. For more information, visit childrenandnature.org.

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