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Texas Children in Nature Summit Brings Groups to Corpus Christi

The Texas Children in Nature (TCiN) network will host its second annual statewide Summit and Champions Luncheon in Corpus Christi on Dec. 6- 7. The Summit brings together leaders from across the state from the conservation, education, health, faith and youth development communities to learn about the latest research, share innovations and network to turn inspiration into action.

Research shows that children spend between 7-11 hours per day indoors with media and only minutes per day playing in nature. This shift in behavior has led to a rise in childhood obesity, depression, and a host of other health related issues. The good news is research also shows that when children and families learn and play in nature they are healthier, happier, and even perform better in school.

The TCiN network is proud to honor four organizations that go above and beyond to connect children and families with the nature to improve their health and wellbeing and provide a sense of place. Through innovation and dedication, each organization raises the standard for how children can be reconnected to their natural world and eliminate “nature deficit disorder” in Texas.

TCiN is a program of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), which supports a network of more than 500 partner organizations dedicated to creating equitable access to nature for all Texans.

All are invited to celebrate this year’s honorees at the Texas Children in Nature Champions Luncheon on December 6, 2018 at 11:30am at the Holiday Inn Downtown Corpus Christi, TX. With support from Toyota and A&M University Corpus Christi Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, attendees will learn more about this year’s honorees and what they are doing to improve the lives of children and families through a connection with nature.

Category — Access: City of Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department: For providing equitable access to the outdoors at over 190 parks, with a special focus on a connection with natural areas at the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Learning Center, Hans & Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge and Blucher Park. Programs at the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Learning Center provide children and families a chance to explore and understand the wildlife and ecosystems they live with.

Category — Community: Coastal Bend Bays Foundation: For their efforts to bring the community together at events such as Earth Day, Bay Day, Adopt-a-Beach and other programs that highlight the value of the Coastal Bend ecosystems. Since the 1990s CBBF has focused on bringing together community partners to find local solutions to environmental issues specific to the Coastal Bend. CBBF programs give children and families a sense of place through a connection with the near-by nature.

Category — Education: Flour Bluff Independent School District: For their outstanding work to engage students with conservation education via the Junior Master Naturalist, Citizen Science programs, Birding Clubs, and Nature Clubs. The district embraces learning outdoors with natural classrooms and play areas that connect students, teachers, and the surrounding community to local nature.

Category — Health: Department of State Health Services (DSHS): For their Outdoor Learning Environments (OLE!) Texas initiative to improve the outdoor spaces of childcare centers to facilitate more active play and increase a child’s connection with nature. DSHS brings together other state agencies and non-profits to engage childcare centers, landscape designers and the community to offer trainings and technical advice to improve children’s health and wellness through an increased connection with nature.

To register for the Summit and Champions Luncheon please visit, https://tcinsummit.sched.com/.