WOW is a collaboration between Davidson Lands Conservancy and Woodland Discovery, a educational nonprofit.
WOW was begun in 2010 in response to the growing concern that too few children spend time outdoors experiencing the natural world first-hand, often referred to as nature deficit. They are disconnected from the natural world. The reasons are many: electronic media, crime and safety concerns, lack of information and experience with nature, and overscheduled children and parents. The consequences are far reaching. A growing body of research suggests that nature deficit is associated with childhood obesity, childhood diabetes, behavior disorders, short attention span, sensory disorders, stress, anxiety, depression, and aggression.
On the positive side, research indicates that experiencing the outdoor world improves children’s cognitive development, creativity, attention span, academic achievement, and gives them an increased sense of well-being, place and community.
WOW addresses another need. Families need shared experiences that build strong relationships. Many parents long to share the natural world with their children, but fear they know too little of where to go, what to see, and what it is they’re seeing. WOW provides the framework for families to share in discovering the natural world together, providing them with shared experiences that they can build on in the future.
WOW programs are free. It’s important that these experiences attract people of all races and ethnicities, especially those who may not look for such experiences, thinking they are beyond their financial grasp.
WOW outings are held on local land, another important program component. Children need to see nature as easily accessible and part of their daily lives.
For more information about our current events please visit our events calendar or sign up for our newsletter.