The many benefits of children’s exposure to nature have by now been well documented. Children lucky enough to make natural playgrounds part of their daily lives enjoy better focus and fewer physical health problems, among other things. In addition to benefitting children in personal ways, surrounding kids not only with nature but a culture of environmental stewardship ensures that they’ll be more likely to pass this legacy forward. What communities can help parents do this?
Vermont has many things to offer that could make it the perfect spot to raise your children. And the “Green Mountain” state isn’t simply a name. The state is now one of the country’s environmental leaders. The Vermont Environmental Consortium has helped guide local, state, and national businesses towards green economies since 2000. The Vermont Law School with its groundbreaking Environmental Justice program has been shaping political and legal policies for decades. And Vermont has set the standard for organic agriculture and eco-tourism for the rest of the country.
Burlington, the state’s largest city, is near or at the epicenter of much of this. It hosts the state’s university, as well as the ECHO Science Center. And groups here have been heavily involved in the cleanup of iconic Lake Champlain. The city’s Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront department offers more than 35 day camp and summer programs to help youngsters both enjoy and appreciate the environment.
Another “university town”, Wisconsin’s capital has had environmentally friendly business, home, and hospitality programs in place for years. Famous for its dairy farms, nonprofit groups have worked with farmers to reduce agricultural waste and start recycling programs. The city has 260 parks which include a zoo and a botanical garden. These outdoor venues offer many programs over the summer, a number of them free. The city also offers public swimming and beaches at sparkling Lake Monoma. Madison has two nature centers with environmental programs as well. And the University of Wisconsin’s greenhouse offers both public displays and demonstrations on sustainable gardening.
It’s got Starbucks, Amazon, and the Space Needle, but Seattle’s greatest legacy may be its environmental policy. The city boasts green procedures that govern everything from private cleaners to restaurants. Environmental programs for children can be found at levels ranging from school curriculums to parks and day camps. A city department works with residents at all levels to insure sustainable growth and prosperity. As a result, Seattle will be an environmentally sound place for many future generations.
There’s no single thing that will guarantee environmentally sound living for children. But start by selecting a community that makes the environment a partner and part of the community. After you find the perfect spot for you to move to, you might want to use professional movers, like Bekins Van Lines Inc, to get you there. This is a good beginning for raising a healthy and environmentally aware child.