One of the best books I’ve read is “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder” by Richard Louv. Published in 2008, it’s as relevant as ever in our society where there’s a growing divide between children and the outdoors.
Louv believes that kids nowadays suffer from “nature-deficit disorder” – a term of his own invention that describes “the human costs of alienation from nature, among them: diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses.”
The effects of this disorder are widespread and long lasting. Individuals, families, and entire communities relate to each other differently when they have limited access to nature or spend little time outdoors. Louv cites long-standing studies that show a relationship between the absence, or inaccessibility, of parks and open space with high crime rates, depression, and other urban maladies.