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2018 Champions of Children in Nature

Corpus Christi Organizations Honored for work to Connect Children with Nature

Three Corpus Christi area organizations and one state agency will be honored Dec. 6, 2018 at the Texas Children in Nature (TCiN) statewide Summit and Champions Luncheon. The Summit brings together leaders from the conservation, education, health, faith and youth development communities to share innovations and network to turn inspiration into action. The TCiN network is proud to honor four organizations that go above and beyond to connect children and families with nature to improve their health and wellbeing, and provide a sense of place.

TCiN is a program of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), that supports a network of over 500 partner organizations that are dedicated to creating equitable access to nature for all Texans. Research shows that children spend between 7-11 hours per day indoors with media and only minutes per day playing in nature. This shift in behavior has lead to a rise in childhood obesity, depression and a host of other health related issues. The good news is research also shows that when children and families who learn and play in nature they are healthier, happier, and even perform better in school.

All are invited to celebrate this year’s honorees at the Texas Children in Nature Champions Luncheon on December 6, 2018 at 11:30am at the Holiday Inn Downtown Corpus Christi, TX. Attendees will learn more about these amazing organizations and what they are doing to improve the lives of children and families through a connection with nature. The Luncheon is part of the two-day Summit.

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Category- Health: Department of State Health Services (DSHS):

For their Outdoor Learning Environments (OLE!) Texas initiative to improve the outdoor spaces of childcare centers to facilitate more active play and increase a child’s connection with nature. DSHS brings together other state agencies and non-profits to engage childcare centers, landscape designers and the community to offer trainings and technical advice to improve children’s health and wellness through an increased connection with nature.

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Category- Education: Flour Bluff Independent School District

For their outstanding work to engage students with conservation education via the Junior Master Naturalist, Citizen Science programs, Birding Clubs, and Nature Clubs. The district embraces learning outdoors with natural classrooms and play areas that connect students, teachers, and the surrounding community to local nature.

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Category- Community: Coastal Bend Bays Foundation

For their efforts to bring the community together at events such as Earth Day, Bay Day, Adopt-a-Beach and other programs that highlight the value of the Coastal Bend ecosystems. Since the 1990s CBBF has focused on bringing together community partners to find local solutions to environmental issues specific to the Coastal Bend. CBBF programs give children and families a sense of place through a connection with the near-by nature.

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Category- Access: City of Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department

For providing equitable access to the outdoors at over 190 parks, with a special focus on a connection with natural areas at the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Learning Center, Hans & Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge and Blucher Park. Programs at the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Learning Center provide children and families a chance to explore and understand the wildlife and ecosystems they live with.