Nature for All Abilities


Nature for All Abilities

I'm a mom of a special needs child.  I know plenty of parents with children like mine are so scared to play outside with their kids.  I'd like to open the discussion on how to make nature accessible for families and kids with verying abilities.

Members: 22
Latest Activity: Oct 10, 2017

Discussion Forum

How are you INCLUDING? 5 Replies

I'd like to know what other sites are doing to include people of all abilities.  Share with me!

Started by Andrea Putnam. Last reply by Betsy Townsend Apr 15, 2014.

Cities for all abilities - Jane Jacobs Walk

Hello all! I'm an outreach coordinator for Jane Jacobs Walk working specifically on partnering with C&NN. I'm very excited to announce that C&NN has partnered with Jane Jacobs Walk to…Continue

Started by Jennifer Baguley Apr 16, 2012.

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Comment by Barbara Mascareno on July 19, 2012 at 9:16am

Amazing group! Recent groups I've encountered have different types of plants or flowers for children to feel and touch as well as compare and contrast. This all depends on allergies and how well children are receptive to the project, though. 

Have you checked your local Natural History Museum for classes and workshops? They tend to be more open to all types of learning. 

Comment by Marielise Jacobs on April 14, 2012 at 4:26am
Hi- I am currently a school to become an Occupational Therapist. I have an outdoor education background. I am really interested in working with special needs children and having treatment occur outdoors. I am planning to have my capstone project revolve around working with children that have autism.
Comment by Jan Hummer on November 5, 2011 at 10:42am

Great idea about the Nature as Therapy group.  I would love to see a discussion happen within this topic.  I haven't joined or read any of those conversations yet either. 


There are some great wilderness therapy programs going in Boulder, CO and I would love to send them an ivite to both of these groups to share their activities and reflections. -  Joyfully - Jan


Comment by Suz Lipman on November 5, 2011 at 6:58am

Hi Andrea, Warm welcome to C&NN Connect! I'm also very glad you started this group. I wonder if you've seen the Nature as Therapy group? I'd like to invite people from that group to join this one, as there may be some overlap of interest.


I trust you'll continue to make yourself at home in discussions and groups,  share your activities, ideas and photos with us, and find this a rich source of resources. For any questions about the network, send me a message or see our FAQ page. I'm sure we'll see you here again soon and look forward to your contributions and thoughts. Cheers.

Comment by Jan Hummer on October 22, 2011 at 11:38am

Margie and Andrea,


Would you be intrested in reading my thesis by any chance?  I was in a Contemplative education program in Boulder, CO so you will find it to be a little different than other theses that you have read.  Lots of reflection and pictures of activities with my student are throughout the paper.  At the end a booklet is available  which I am currently working on to be eventually published for families.


I would love to know how to start a nature based school for families that will be year round . The school will also have places for families to stay for weeks at a time on at least 50 acres with eco arts, yoga, and environmental education.  Do you know of any programs like this nationally that I could use as a model?

If I was in a warmer climate I think the park programs could offer teachers , parents, and therapists classes better inclusion methods in nature for children and adults.

Andrea:  Can you give me your definition of Ecotherapy ?  Also what school do you attend?  Have you ever gone to Robin Moore's Natural Learning Intiative site / NC State , there are a lot of good articles for you to look for your research into your topic.

Many Blessings,


Comment by Jan Hummer on October 18, 2011 at 8:30pm

Andrea and Margie,


I have been thinking about starting a group like this for a couple of weeks.  Connecting children with special needs to nature is a something that I am very passionate about.  I actually just wrote my thesis on it called My Personal Journey:  Connecting a child with down syndrome and autism to nature. 

 There are so many simple things that you can you do as a family with a special needs child, in my expereince something was opened within out in the natural world :)

I have so much to say on this topic and cannot wait to share some of the activities I have done with children ages 2 - 18 who are living with special needs.  I really want to hear from the both of you in the near future ... I am thrilled you are both out there thinking about this kind of work.  Let's Discuss !  - Jan


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