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The Children & Nature Network welcomes you to Let’s G.O.! We hope the following tools and resources will inspire you and help you inspire others to PLAY, SERVE and CELEBRATE outside.

“The solutions to Nature-Deficit Disorder are found within every one of us, every leaf, every home and every community. Let's G.O.! Get Outside 2013!”

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Juan Martinez, Director of Leadership Development and the Natural Leaders Network; National Co-Chair, Let’s G.O.!

© Children & Nature Network LET’S G.O.! LETS G.O.! (Get Outside!) Tool Kit October 2013


Introduction We believe that every day should be a Get Outside Day—and that projects to connect children and nature should be encouraged throughout the year in children's daily lives. The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) named April as Children & Nature Awareness Month several years ago, and the Natural Leaders launched Get Outside Day three years ago. The response of local governments, private groups and individuals across the country has been uniformly supportive. From the special proclamations of civic leaders to a collection of songs written to celebrate the movement, Children & Nature Awareness Month has both inspired those already interested in reconnecting children with nature and focused the attention of others on the importance of outdoor play in nature for healthy childhood development. These initiatives have also helped bring attention, visibility, and a sense of community to the many outstanding efforts already underway. Now, thanks to the energy, enthusiasm and vision of the C&NN Natural Leaders Network, April is a time we pull together all of C&NN's partners and initiatives with a huge and inspiring push to get all people outside, and to encourage service projects to benefit the natural world as part of the process. This is not just a call to action, it is a call for fun! Think of it as a party invitation, and the party location is all the green and living space around us. Community gardening, local hikes, river clean-ups, bird watching, fishing, biking, beach days, trail maintenance and habitat restoration—however and where ever you get outside in nature, we want to hear about it!

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If you have any questions about Let’s G.O.! please contact Let’s G.O.! Co-chairs Juan Martinez and Avery Cleary, at letsgo@childrenandnature.org.

NOTE: The role of the Children & Nature Network (C&NN) is to help build the children and nature movement, and to help parents and others learn about ways they can connect children to nature. Let’s G.O.! is an approach we wish to encourage. However, C&NN is not responsible for the activities and safeguards associated with events scheduled to reconnect children and nature. At any time, when children are outside on their own, or with families and friends, everyone should take safety precautions and be mindful of risks.

© Children & Nature Network LET’S G.O.! LETS G.O.! (Get Outside!) Tool Kit October 2013


10 Steps For Planning, Registering, Sharing and Documenting Your Event

1. Plan a Let’s G.O.! Event – Find your team, decide what you want to do and set the date! If you are looking for help with planning, this tool kit has lots of ideas. 2. Partner with Let’s G.O.! for your April event—It’s simple. Use one of these tag lines and the Let’s G.O.! logo to let people know. Get the logo on C&NN Connect: http://childrenandnature.ning.com/group/letsgo/page/logo This event is part of Let’s G.O.! (Get Outside)

We support the Natural Leaders. Let’s G.O.! (Get Outside)

3. Use the Let’s G.O.! Web Site Badge on your own web site or blog. Get the badge here: http://childrenandnature.ning.com/group/letsgo/page/badge 4. Acknowledge sponsors on your materials. Check with local sponsors to obtain their logos and request permission from C&NN if you wish to use the logos of national Let’s G.O.! sponsors. 5. Register your event online on the Let’s G.O.! Registration Page. http://www.childrenandnature.org/LETSGO_REG After registering, you can download the event organizer’s packet including sample press release, liability and photo releases, print-ready versions of the logo and badge, checklist, signs and more. 6. Publicize your upcoming event using social media. Share on Facebook, Twitter, and C&NN. Connect on other online places you frequent. Use the #letsgo2013 hashtag.

9. Document your event with photos and/or video. Use the #letsgo2013 Tag. Post Photos and Videos to Facebook, Twitter, C&NN Connect and YouTube or wherever else you share. 10. Stand up and be counted – complete the brief Let's G.O.! Survey when your event is done.

© Children & Nature Network LET’S G.O.! LETS G.O.! (Get Outside!) Tool Kit October 2013

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8. Download and Print the Let’s G.O.! signs. Take them with you on the day of your event and photograph or video yourself and/or your Let’s G.O.! group.

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7. Prepare the photo and liability releases that are appropriate for your event.


LET’S G.O.! Do-It-Yourself Resources Registration: –

Tips for Registering and Editing your Online Event Listing http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/LETSGO_REG.doc

Let’s G.O.! Fliers: –

General Flier for Community Outreach http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/2013LETSGO_FLIER.pdf

Editable Flier for Your Event http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/LETSGO_FLIER.doc

Download the Print Ready Let’s G.O.! Logos –

http://childrenandnature.ning.com/group/letsgo/page/logo

Get the Let’s G.O.! Badge for your Web site pages and BLOG: –

http://childrenandnature.ning.com/group/letsgo/page/badge

Marketing and PR: –

C&NN’s Let’s G.O.! Press Release http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/LETSGO_PR.doc

Editable Local Let’s G.O.! Press Releases http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/LETSGO_PR_REGIONAL.doc

Tips for Publicizing Your Event http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/LETSGO_BrandingPR.doc

Tips for Using Social Media http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/LETSGO_SocialMedia.doc

C&NN Movement Directory – search by State or zip code http://www.childrenandnature.org/directory/

USF&WS - Connecting People with Nature regional contacts – search the C&NN Directory http://www.childrenandnature.org/movement/detail/united_states_fish_and_wildlife/

REI Outreach Specialist Directory http://www.rei.com/map/store

Day of Event Resources: –

Let’s G.O.! (Get Outside) signs http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/LETSGO_SIGNS.pdf

Sample Participant Releases http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/LETSGO_RELEASES.doc

© Children & Nature Network LET’S G.O.! LETS G.O.! (Get Outside!) Tool Kit October 2013

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Finding Potential Partners:


Let’s G.O.! Frequently Asked Questions What is Let’s G.O.!? Let’s G.O.! is a youth-inspired, youth-led C&NN month-long intergenerational campaign first launched in April 2011 to rally people of all ages to Play, Serve and Celebrate outdoors in nature. C&NN’s Natural Leaders have created this opportunity for Family Nature Clubs, C&NN Grassroots initiatives, teachers, businesses, government agencies and people everywhere to work together to help curb nature-deficit disorder. The C&NN Natural Leaders Network is a growing group of young people whose personal connection to nature comes from their experiences in their own neighborhoods, woods, fields, arroyos, mountains and oceans. For more information about the Natural Leaders Network visit: http://www.naturalleaders.org

I have an event planned and would like to partner with Let’s G.O.! How do I do that? Many organizations already have events planned in April. It’s easy to partner with Let’s G.O.! Download the Let’s G.O.! Web Site Badge for your own web site or blog. http://childrenandnature.ning.com/group/letsgo/page/badge And use one of these and the Lets G.O.! logo in your promo materials to let people know. This event is part of Let’s G.O.! (Get Outside)

We support Natural Leaders. Let’s G.O.! (Get Outside)

Get the logo on C&NN Connect: http://childrenandnature.ning.com/group/letsgo/page/logo

Think about the connections that you already have. Groups and individuals that know and work with you are much more likely to participate. We also encourage you to contact any of the Let’s G.O.! national partners who are in your local area—REI, Sierra Club, USFWS, and the North Face—and to invite and engage new partners.

© Children & Nature Network LET’S G.O.! LETS G.O.! (Get Outside!) Tool Kit October 2013

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First identify your allies and audience. Collaboration is key to making Let’s G.O.! events successful and fun! Who would you like to work with? You can check the C&NN Movement Directory http://www.childrenandnature.org/directory/ to see who else in your local area might be interested in developing an event. If, after checking the directory, you have questions about C&NN contacts in your local area, please contact us at letsgo@childrenandnature.org.

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I want to host a Let’s G.O.! event in my community. Where do I start?


Here are some additional ideas to get you started brainstorming about partners and allies: Local Stores and Businesses Outdoor Retailers North Face Stores REI Stores Other retailers like Walmart/Target may donate a gift card to raffle or help with a purchase of items for your event Youth Organizations 4-H clubs Boys and Girls Clubs YMCA After School Programs Boy Scout/Girl Scout Troops Local Schools Mothers/Fathers Clubs

Supplies Local Businesses Grocery Store- Snacks, Beverages Local Landscaper- Plants, Supplies Civic Organizations and Government Agencies City, County and State Parks Land Trusts Lake Associations Local Government Offices Community Gardens Land Trusts City Parks and Recreation Department

Once you’ve got your partners you can decide on the specifics. Would you like this to be an event that all community members may attend or would you like to have an event for young people in a neighborhood? What age group? The idea of the Let’s G.O.! events is that they will be intergenerational opportunities to get people outside in nature, but you can still focus on the age group that makes the most sense for your community. Let’s G.O.! events will look different across the country, and they should! After you decide who your audience will be, work with your partners to plan an outdoor event that is age and interest appropriate. It may not be a great idea to have preschool-aged children picking up garbage and high school students may or may not be interested in a Super Bug Safari!

© Children & Nature Network LET’S G.O.! LETS G.O.! (Get Outside!) Tool Kit October 2013

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Enlist your allies and partners. If you do not work or volunteer in a capacity that gives you access to your audience, you may want to consider forming a partnership with someone or an organization that has access to that audience. For example, if you are hoping to engage local high school students in a beach clean-up, consider contacting the chair of the science department at the high school or the person in charge of the high school Recycling, Community Action, or Outing Club. Remember to visit the C&NN’s movement map and explore C&NN Connect to find additional partners in your area who can help you target potential attendees for your event.

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Okay, I know who I want to invite to attend, how do I get them there?


How would I advertise the event? See Tips for Publicizing Your Event. http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/LETSGO_BrandingPR.doc Ask any of your partners to help. If you are hoping to have community members attend the event, consider calling radio stations, newspapers, community organizations, etc. well ahead of time and ask them to give community members a heads-up about what you are doing. Work with your local REI stores to have the events posted in their monthly online and printed calendars. Consider putting flyers in the local library, places of worship, and local restaurants and businesses (with permission) to increase attendance. Invite local papers and news stations to cover the event, and also write a press release about the event and send photos to local papers. Some newspapers, TV stations, and Chambers of Commerce host a community calendar in which you may be able to have your Let’s G.O.! event featured. Remember, it never hurts to ask!

I don’t have any ideas for an event or project. Do you have any suggestions? Think about your own interests and what excites you about nature and playing outdoors. The short list of suggestions that follows can help get your ideas flowing. Also check out the online slideshow Let’s G.O.! Join the Party, Join the Fun to see how other network members have chosen to Play, Serve and Celebrate. http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/LetsGO2012_book

NATURE PLAY DAY IDEAS C&NN’s Where Nature Meets Story for a wide variety of things to do when playing outdoors in nature. www.childrenandnature.org/naturestory C&NN’s Together in Nature: Pathways to a Stronger, Closer Family Tool Kit http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/FamilyBonding.pdf Nature Rocks http://www.naturerocks.org Parent’s Guide to Nature Play http://www.greenheartsinc.org/Parents__Guide.html

© Children & Nature Network LET’S G.O.! LETS G.O.! (Get Outside!) Tool Kit October 2013

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Wild Zones http://www.wild-zone.net/www.wild-zone.net/Toolkit.html Create-with-Nature http://www.naturesculpture.com/installations/blakezone/blakezone.html Mud Games http://www.childrenandnature.org/downloads/GG2011/PlayinAK_CarmenField.pdf Nature Play Spaces http://www.childrenandnature.org/downloads/GG2011/NaturePlay_byMaryHardcastle.pdf

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Think Outside the Box - check these out.


NATURAL SERVICE IDEAS The idea of Natural Service is to get people outside serving in their communities for the health and wellbeing of natural landscapes and the people who live around them. These Natural Service projects will physically enhance, restore and maintain natural areas. Plant Native Trees or Wildflowers Help with Invasive Plant Removal or Trail Clearing Plant a Stream Buffer (talk with your local Conservation District) Organize a beach clean-up Volunteer with a City Park, State Park, or City Forest Host a Recycling Event Help at a Community Garden Clean up a Stream or River Build Bat Boxes or Bird Houses and Feeders To see what other network members have done: [+] View the Natural Service Network 2011 Slide Show http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/NaturalService_slideshow

We want to celebrate your accomplishment and help inspire others! After you’ve finished your Let’s G.O.! event, we encourage you to share what you did with others.

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Please keep the network informed—post pictures and event information on C&NN Connect, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

© Children & Nature Network LET’S G.O.! LETS G.O.! (Get Outside!) Tool Kit October 2013


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Special thanks to the Natural Leaders for creating Let’s G.O.! and inspiring all of us to come together to play, serve and celebrate in nature. The Natural Leaders Network is an initiative of the Children & Nature Network with support from the Sierra Club, The North Face, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, REI and The Walt Disney Company. The Children & Nature Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a worldwide movement to reconnect children and nature. C&NN envisions a world in which all children play, learn and grow with nature in their everyday lives. C&NN builds awareness, supports the grassroots with tools and strategies, develops publications and educational materials, synthesizes the best available research and encourages collaboration. C&NN is also home to the Natural Families Network, Natural Teachers Network and over 100 Grassroots Campaigns and Initiatives.

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This Tool Kit was created by Natural Leaders Andrew Anderson, Leslie Cook, Tyrell Hughes, George Lopez, Juan Martinez, Hanna Pinneo and Katia Rossi, with support from the C&NN staff.

© Children & Nature Network LET’S G.O.! LETS G.O.! (Get Outside!) Tool Kit October 2013

LETSGOTK_2013  

http://www.childrenandnature.org/docs/LETSGOTK_2013.pdf

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