Missouri first lady Georganne Nixon visited Springfield at Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park on April 10 to recognize the city as the first community in the state to finish the guidelines put in place by the Children in Nature Challenge, a statewide initiative designed to encourage communities to enhance nature education.
“Children benefit physically, mentally and even spiritually by reconnecting with nature, and we need to provide them with the opportunities to do so,” Nixon said in a news release. "Springfield has done an amazing job of creating an environment that encourages children to get outdoors and enjoy nature.
“(Springfield is) setting a good example for other communities to follow, and I hope others will take the challenge Our children and the entire community will benefit.”
calls for communities to initiate criteria such as:
- increasing awareness of nature;
- providing activities and events;
- enhancing or creating areas for children to get involved with nature;
- encouraging nature-based curriculum in schools; and
- partnering with local organizations and businesses to provide more opportunities to get involved with nature.