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CONTACT:
Marilyn Wyzga: 603-464-3530NH Children in Nature
Judy Silverberg: 603-568-2503
May 30, 2014

Media: Print quality photos for editorial use available at nhchildreninnature.org/press

NH Children in Nature Honors Outdoor Champions

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Children in Nature Coalition will award its first ever Outdoor Champions on June 5, 2014, ataNature Happy Hour Celebration at the McLane Audubon Center in Concord, N.H., from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  The four honorees are Leslie Stevens of Dover, TimberNook of Barrington, the Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock, and the Manchester Health Department.

“There are so many people around New Hampshire who are connecting kids and their families to nature in innovative ways,” said Marilyn Wyzga of the NH Children in Nature Coalition. “It’s time to honor those who truly champion this effort and are making real change in New Hampshire.”

Individual Outdoor Champion, Leslie Stevens, is a Master Gardener who has been cultivating a public gardening program at The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire. “We appreciate the opportunity to recognize someone who is such an outstanding asset to our programming for families,” said Heidi Duncanson, Director of Marketing & Community Relations at the museum. “Families have reported that their children are trying more vegetables because they are involved in the process of growing them, and they are enjoying this healthy family activity together.”  Leslie has volunteered her time for 3 years to educate, inspire and encourage families through her program, “Anyone Can Grow Food!”

Organizational Outdoor Champion, TimberNook, uses children’s outdoors experiences to help them develop a life-long desire to be in nature and draw enrichment from the natural world. The curriculum developed from founder, Angela Hanscom’s background as a pediatric occupational therapist. “TimberNook’s entirely outdoor-based camps encourage children to use natural materials to solve problems, develop as independent thinkers, and blossom creatively,” Elyse Bachrach noted in her nomination letter.  “Campers and their families come away with a deeper appreciation and love for nature, and understanding of the connections with nature that improve their lives.”

NH Children in Nature will also recognize the Harris Center for Conservation Education for their long-time commitment to children in nature experiences, and the Manchester Health Department for its new Healthy Neighborhoods initiative.

The Nature Happy Hour will celebrate 5 years since the NH Children in Nature Coalition formally organized to connect children, youth and families to the outdoors. Attendees will honor the first Outdoor Champions, see how children are spending more time in nature and learn more about the work of the coalition. The event is free and open to the public, though reservations are required by June 1.  For more information, contact info@nhchildreninnature.org. To register go to:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NHCINCHappyHourRegistration.

The New Hampshire Children in Nature Coalition, dedicated to fostering experiences in nature that improve physical and emotional health, increase understanding of the natural world, and promote stronger connections to community and landscape. The coalition got its start in 2007, when people from health, education, community planning and environmental sectors came together at a series of events to launch a New Hampshire initiative to reconnect children with nature and encourage children and families to get outside and active in the natural world.  The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department was a founding member and convened the group for its first five years. Find out more about the Coalition at http://www.NHChildrenInNature.org.

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