Welcome to the very first EarlySpace blogpost!

Children need nature.  Here in the Capitol area we are rediscovering that in a big way.  Natural play and learning are coming to DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia. Teachers are learning about how to teach outdoors and how to support outdoor learning; schools and children’s programs are creating green schoolyards and natural play spaces; and communities are launching organizations to support the child/nature connection.  This blog will keep you updated on the exciting projects, new initiatives and dedicated people that I run across.  My goals are to inspire us, connect us and bring nature to more children.

To kick off this blog I’ll be leaving the DC area and heading to “Engaging Our Grounds: The 2011 International Green Schoolyard Conference.”  I look forward to sharing lots of inspiring ideas with you.

The San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance http://sfgreenschools.org/ is a model for all of us—they provide training, resources and funding to help to green the schoolyards of the Bay Area.  Because of the work of the Alliance there are some very innovative school gardens and schoolyards in San Francisco, and I am eager to see them and share them with you.

I know that many of the people in San Francisco got their inspiration from the cutting edge cool things that are happening in parks and schoolyards around the world.  Speakers who are leaders in the field from Sweden, Germany, the UK, Canada and Japan will be sharing their stories at the conference, and I will bring them to you!

So stay tuned…

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