Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Enjoying nature is so passe'?

A study was recently completed by researchers at the University of Illinois - Chicago which establishes a link between the rise in internet use and gaming to a decline in camping, fishing and other outdoor activities. Maybe a bit obvious, but sad in many respects. An article in the Houston Chronicle talks further about how enjoying nature has become virtual for many and is an obvious cause of the rise in childhood obesity. There is even some suggestion that those who do not enjoy nature and what it has to offer, may care less about the environment.

Even if nature is not accessible to all (you can safely say that not all people live near a national forrest nor have the means to visit one), I feel that gardening is another way to connect to nature. I have some issue with a comment made in the Houston Chronicle that yet agin stereotypes Gen X and Y'ers as not connected to nature. Yes, maybe true for some, but I find that consdition accross all generations. As a Gen X'er I think that connecting to nature and a love of gardening often times has more to do with upbringing and influences in our lives as we grow and mature.

For me, gardening is therapy, a time to get away from the barrage of modern life and a chance to have a hand in creating art in the garden. One can only hope that this trend is an anomaly.



Katie said...

Scarier yet is the amount of children that literally spend no time outdoors. I think you'd like the book, Last Child in the Woods by Robert Louv. I'll let you and your wife borrow it if you promise to return (you kids would surely benefit).

Mad Man Bamboo said...

Hey Katie,

After I get through the Omnivore's Dilemna, I might take you up on the offer to loan the book. Sounds interesting.


mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I feel quite guilty in raising someone who only goes outdoors to get from the house to the car. When he was small, we couldn't afford a house with a yard so he was raised indoors in apartments. Although I made an effort to take him to the park, and even camping, it was difficult for me to set time for supervised outdoor play and there was no place nearby for him to play outside unsupervised as I did as a child.

Now even houses come with little or no yards so I guess even the middle class and rich kids will grow up indoors. All this is very sad and somewhat scary.

Mad Man Bamboo said...


At least you are consious of it and are trying. We are all guilty to some extent, I have certainly been so as a parent. Being aware of it is the first step, your already there. : )