7Children must be allowed the chance to feel a part of nature without fear, without worrying about staying clean, and, most important, without having to give the teacher a single thing: not a test, not a drawing, not even a haiku. Unconditional love begets unconditional love. The foremost American proponent of renaturalizing our children is Richard Louv, who burst on the scene in 2005 with his splendid best seller, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. The Flora Project’s educational plans do not neglect this essential—probably the most essential—catalyst for a person’s love of nature.
What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.
In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught. —Baba Dioum, Senegalese environmentalist and general coordinator of the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of West and Central Africa
Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature.
—Richard Louv, journalist and author