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Our 1-day Summit on Connecting to Nature in an Urban World, April 19, features a morning plenary and roundtable sessions followed by interactive workshops and walkshops in the afternoon. Building on the Summit is our Conference, April 20-21, featuring keynotes speakers, hands-on workshops and networking opportunities.

Please note: Schedules are now locked from being changed. If you would like to make changes to your schedule, please come see us at the registration desk. See you in Vancouver!
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Thursday, April 20 • 9:45am - 11:00am
Strengthening Bonds: Understanding Family Dynamics, Habits and Bonding in Nature Play FULL
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As our time in interaction with significant others and in nature declines, mental health providers, educators, researchers, and parents are wondering what this may mean for children’s development and their ultimate wellbeing.

Anne Stewart, professor of psychology and practicing family and play therapist at James Madison University, Virginia, USA, will share the evidence for the negative impact of less play time and less time in nature for children, families, and communities. She will describe how attachment theory supports nature-based play activities to promote attachment and regulation. Theory will be coupled with Brad and Bree Rudner, two parents with a background as wilderness guides and teachers, personal account of having slipped away from nature break through the obstacles of young parenthood and lift the whole family by spending times outdoors. Finally, discover how Nature Play Queensland in Australia has embraced use of an app, developed by health and early education professionals, to help unlock the secrets of how and why playing in nature benefits children.

The organizational narrative, use of the app, and the personal account provide research and experience based knowledge to support time outdoors as a family health and bonding retreat.

avatar for Monica Lopez Magee

Monica Lopez Magee

SVP, Cities and Community Engagement, Children & Nature Network
Monica Lopez Magee Helps city and community leaders develop programs, policies, and partnerships to provide children and families access to nature and its many health and academic benefits. She draws upon her master’s degree in Public Leadership from the LBJ School of Public Affairs... Read More →

avatar for Hyahno Moser

Hyahno Moser

Program Manager, Nature Play Queensland
Like most children of his generation, Hyahno spent most of his leisure time outside, therefore it came as no surprise to his family when he choose a career in Outdoor Education. For 10 years, Hyahno was involved in devising, facilitating, teaching and leading young people through... Read More →
avatar for Brad Rudner

Brad Rudner

CEO & Co-Founder of Family by Nature, Curanex Inc.
Brad Rudner runs Curanex Inc., an agency specializing in health and wellness management consulting and team building. He leverages his diverse background and training to improve key performance indicators and enhance corporate culture. He is the co-founder of Family By Nature, which... Read More →
avatar for Bree Rudner

Bree Rudner

COO & Co-Founder of Family By Nature, Curanex Inc.
I've been a nature lover all my life, spending time outside with my family growing up. As a young adult, I worked as an outdoor educator, wilderness guide, canoe and kayak instructor and more. My journey took me away from nature for many years as my husband and I settled into life... Read More →
avatar for Anne Stewart

Anne Stewart

Professor, James Madsion University
Tell me how you developed a 'heart for children' and love of nature. Tell me about one of your favorite times in nature. Tell me your aspirations and plans to create opportunities for children to connect with others and with nature. I am a child and family play therapist with an... Read More →

Thursday April 20, 2017 9:45am - 11:00am PDT
Oak (2nd Floor)