The biggest ‘connector’ of them all, Facebook, recently wrote, “When people connect, powerful things happen and lives are changed.” This was in conjunction with the acknowledgement of their 12th birthday where they take that same time each year to celebrate and reflect on the importance of connecting.
Experts have also written about what happens when there is a lack of ‘connection,’ especially between children and nature. In his book, The Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv talks about ‘nature-deficit disorder’ and documents how modern family life has dramatically changed in the last two decades. Children and families often have limited opportunities to connect with the natural environment. Yet, the benefits of connecting with nature are well documented. Research shows that children’s social, psychological, academic, and physical health are all positively impacted when they have daily contact with nature.
Here at the Garden, when we sit down to discuss plans for each season, we review our approach from many different angles. What classes have people enjoyed before? What new events do we want to try? Which events did well that we should look at doing again? What are some suggestions members or visitors have made that we should explore further? At every discussion, we always come back to the same theme – what can we do to make sure we are getting people ‘connected’ to South Coast Botanic Garden?
As I write this, we are furiously trying to get ready for a very busy Summer Season. The Summer calendar is jam-packed with fun activities, classes, and special events, including the Nature Connects: Art with LEGO® Bricks exhibit, which will continue to run through Sunday, May 8. Since opening on February 19, this family-friendly interactive art installation has been providing a unique experience for children to connect with nature. Showcasing 27 nature-themed LEGO sculptures, the exhibit highlights the wonder nature that can inspire in people of all ages. The sculptures, along with multiple hands-on activities, have been engaging children with the familiarity of LEGO bricks, offering new possibilities for families to explore and connect with the natural world. Forming connections between children and nature at an early age not only positively impacts their development, it also creates a generation that delights in nature and seeks to protect our environment.
Take a look at the variety of events being offered this Summer. Check out the Flower Foto Fest, get on board for Destination Science, or come join us for Picnic Days and Movie Nights. Find some time to check out the Nature Connects exhibit. We’ve done our best to offer you the most fun ways to enjoy the change of seasons and GET CONNECTED at South Coast Botanic Garden!
Guest Writer- Adrienne L. Nakashima , CEO South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation
About South Coast Botanic Garden
Located in Palos Verdes Peninsula on lush 87-acres, the South Coast Botanic Garden has more than 2,500 different species of plants. Their mission is to serve the community by providing a unique horticultural and wildlife habitat experience, and to represent a model of excellence for land reclamation and sustainability. The South Coast Botanic Garden is a public garden co-operated between the County of Los Angeles, Department of Parks and Recreation and the South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation. For more information, please visit www.southcoastbotanicgarden.org.