The Abundant Childhood: Nature, Creativity & Health: An Evening with Richard Louv



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Channels: Talks

On Thursday, November 8, 2007, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Eagle Creek Park Foundation, Inc. and nine co-sponsoring organizations presented a lecture by journalist and futurist Richard Louv called The Abundant Childhood: Nature, Creativity and Health.

Remember romping around the woods or building tree houses as a kid? According to author and futurist Richard Louv, today's children are in danger of losing the benefits of unstructured outdoor play. In Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, Louv draws a connection between exposure to nature's physical and spiritual bounty, and improved health, creativity and empathy. Outdoor play is proven to inspire children to embrace the abundance of the planet with all their senses and to help them become environmental stewards. Hear Louv speak and be part of a renaissance in connecting youth with nature.

00:00:00 I want to welcome you to the Abundant Childhood: Nature, Creativity, and Health. We are excited about the opportunity to spend an evening with internationally acclaimed author, Richard Louv.

00:00:13 This event is a part of the Spirit and Place Civic Festival, whose theme this year is "Living Generously."

00:00:21 Please, welcome the author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv.

00:00:28 [Applause]

00:00:40 Thank you, Jim.

00:00:43 I really want to thank all the people who generously have given me their time and their attention over the last day and a half.

00:00:52 We've got wonderful people here. This is just a great place. One of the things I tell my sons is that,

00:01:01 who have come with me on a couple of these trips, I tell them about the kind of people who are attracted to this issue

00:01:12 and they didn't believe me until they came with me and both of them, kind of, were stunned at how nice the people were that I was speaking to.

00:01:20 I said, "That's what I have been telling you, these are great people." There is something about this issue that really attracts really, really nice and good people.

00:01:31 Wayne Zink, I met a little while ago and I told him a story that I think he had, kind of, heard before, but

00:01:41 it has to do with what he sells.

00:01:49 My younger son Matthew is the more outdoorsy guy. The older son Jason, I just saw last week, he lives in New York and he works for Green Advertising Company,

00:02:00 but he is a very urban kind of guy. My younger son Matthew, I knew he had the fishing gene when he was three because I caught him fishing in the humidifier [Laughter]

00:02:12 and for a couple of summers we went up to Kodiak, Alaska went fly fishing there for a week and a half or so each time

00:02:21 and the second time, both times, we had close encounters with big bears and big Alaska brown bears,

00:02:30 the kind that, you know, have people for dessert

00:02:37 and the second time we were going up the stream, a close stream. Usually, the summer before, we fish mainly out in the open in the bigger streams,

00:02:46 and this one was a small stream, it went up into the forest and this is where the salmon end up dying and that is bear kitchen

00:02:56 that's where they go to eat and the thing about this is that the bushes are right there and the stream is narrow, and it's thick forest and so you don't know if the bear is there

00:03:09 and the thing about these bears is you wear bells, sometimes are called bear tongues, but you make a lot of noise, you sing, you talk,

00:03:19 you just constantly are doing that because what you don't want to do is surprise the bears, like coming around a corner and there it is.

00:03:28 So, we were going up the stream and the guide that was with us taught us how to smell for bears. We didn't know we were supposed to smell for bears,

00:03:38 and once you smell this, you never forget it. It's kind of a mixture of musk and rotten salmon because they liked to roll in the salmon,

00:03:49 but it's a very distinctive smell, and so if you smell that when you are going up that stream that means one of two things, either the bear is right there

00:03:58 or the bear has just left right there, but you can't tell. But so what you do? You sing louder.

00:04:10 You know, my son's comment was, "It sure beats high school," in terms of learning. You know, all of the senses are alive, all of the senses are attuned

00:04:23 and working at the same time that other than in New York subway, when else does that happen, then when go out in the woods, when we go out in the nature,

00:04:32 you don't have to have bears there to have that happen, but certainly it helps.

00:04:39 I learned about a study that was released last year, the University of California, Berkeley, that discovered that as human beings

00:04:49 we have great noses. We can smell things. We don't know, we can track through the use of our nose and we don't know that,

00:04:57 we have lost that knowledge, not the ability but the knowledge that we have that ability and the way they did this experiment, they took graduate students, of course,

00:05:09 and they put earmuffs on them and masks so they couldn't see or hear, it was blocked, they made them get down in the grass in a field

00:05:19 and then they had them follow a trail with their nose and they went, they went, and they went and they knew exactly when to turn

00:05:28 and they could do this. Of course, it helped and this is where Wayne Zink comes in. It helped what the trail was, it was a chocolate.

00:05:38 So, I'm not sure if that study counts, but I like to tell that story because it really illustrates, you know, the kind of generosity of nature,

00:05:48 the generosity of our bodies, of our being in the world that we so often overlook because we have our iPod in.

00:06:02 I like to talk to kids about the N-pod, the nature pod, you know, to open up your senses to really be there, to really be there and this is

00:06:11 what we are losing, in society, as we spend more and more time with screen time instead of stream time. I am not against technology.

00:06:19 I love, in fact, I better turn it off...I love my Treo and I love my Macintosh, too much. They're great,

00:06:29 but it's the sense of balance that we are looking for. I'm not somebody who beats up on parents for letting their kids watch TV or play video games.

00:06:39 It's part of the culture, but what we have to do now is to be very intentional about how we use our time and what we allow ourselves

00:06:49 to be open to. To me, the bear on that stream symbolizes nature. I'm not romanticizing nature. Nature is dangerous,

00:07:01 but in nature, you know, the bears are global warming, the bears are, you know, Katrina. But these have their lessons for us,

00:07:12 these have meaning and when we are fully aware of nature, both in what it can do to us

00:07:22 and what it can do for us, we are far more fully alive and we have to allow our children that knowledge, that experience.

00:07:31 It's not the facts, it's the experience.

00:07:37 Just briefly, I grew up outside of Kansas City. Where I grew up looked a lot like this and I lived on the very edge of Suburbia,

00:07:48 and I could go out my backdoor, as an eight-year-old, and through the yard and then through the hedge and from there into the corn field,

00:07:58 where my underground fort was, and then from there on into the woods and the farms that seemed to go on forever.

00:08:07 Those were my woods. I owned those woods. Those woods were in my heart. Those woods are in my heart today.

00:08:17 I go to those woods, sometimes in my heart, and I imagine that those of you who are here tonight if you're old enough to have had this experience

00:08:29 because younger people often have not had this experience, you have that place in your heart that you go to sometimes, too.

00:08:41 Maybe it's the woods, or a field, a stream, a beach. Some place you would go

00:08:50 that still exists in your heart, that special place in nature. Maria Montessori said that, "In nature, children find their strength."

00:09:01 I still go to that place to find my strength, sometimes, or a sense of peace, and I'll bet you do, too.

00:09:11 The question it seems to me that we now face as a kind of companion issue or bookend issue, to global warming

00:09:21 because we can't do much about one without doing something about the other. Is, will future generations have that place to go in their heart?

00:09:38 There is really a giant gap opening up between children and nature.

00:09:45 One could make the case, it began with agriculture, it speeded up with the industrial revolution, but within the last thirty years, in particular,

00:09:54 at an accelerating pace when you look at some of the statistics for the last five years, in particular, this pace has been very quick.

00:10:03 Even in places where there is a lot of nature, kids aren't going outside very much.

00:10:08 One little boy told me that the reason he preferred playing indoors because that's where the electrical outlets are, and I heard that from kids all over the country.

00:10:19 Now, I will tell you that I don't use terms like couch potato. I don't use those words, those pejorative terms because I think that these kids

00:10:29 are good kids. I think they are following orders. I think they are doing what the cultures are telling them to do, and so are the parents.

00:10:39 The message that is coming to these kids and to us as parents from so many directions, even from some unexpected directions,

00:10:47 even in the past from environmental organization sometimes, but certainly from television, sometimes from education,

00:10:55 is that natures in the past, probably does not matter anymore. The future is in electronics. The boogeyman lives in the woods and playing outside

00:11:07 is probably illicit and possibly illegal, and I mean that literally. When you begin to look at the kinds of places

00:11:18 that we are living, the kinds of developments in the last thirty-five years, almost all new housing developments built in United States are covered by

00:11:27 coversance and restrictions, these CCR's which are enforced in varying degree, but they all send the same message.

00:11:35 If you look at the fine print, in these communities just try to put up a basketball hoop in some of them, let alone let the kids go outside

00:11:43 and build a tree house or a fort. One woman came up to me right after the book came out and said that her community association

00:11:53 had recently outlawed chalk drawing on the sidewalks, which leads to cocaine. [Laughter]

00:12:06 Our schools, and I hope this isn't happening here, but the schools even as they hand out brochures to parents about child obesity.

00:12:18 In Broward County, Florida, this big school district there last year started putting out no running signs on the playgrounds. This is happening all over the country,

00:12:28 you know, we're outlawing tag, we are dropping recess or cutting drastically back on about 40 percent of school districts

00:12:38 have done one or the other with recess. Field trips, in many schools, I hope that's not happening here, field trips in many school districts are a thing of the past because there is so much focus

00:12:49 on testing. I understand, you know, the good intentions behind that, but you know,

00:12:58 I think that a kind of management ethic, let lose in the in '80s and '90s during the time of acquisitions and mergers

00:13:09 has taken hold in our country, even of education and the basic mantra is, "Only that which can be counted, counts."

00:13:20 I think that that mantra has taken over education, it has taken over so much of our lives.

00:13:27 When you look at the and, by the way, Albert Einstein had a sign on his door that said, "Some things that count cannot be counted

00:13:36 and some things that can be counted count," or cannot be counted, you get the picture.

00:13:47 You know, can compassion be counted? Can that sense that my son had going up that stream in Alaska, can that be measured? Can that be counted?

00:14:00 Well, it turns out, in some ways it can, but the question is, are we listening to this new body of information. Even as we are realizing,

00:14:10 and I can get into some of the detail on how we know and to the extent which this division between children and nature has occurred, even as we're becoming aware of that,

00:14:20 this new body of evidence which began quite a while ago, decades ago, there were a few pioneers, but in the last dozen years, it has really accelerated.

00:14:30 It is showing us that the abundance that nature brings our kids, the generosity that it has for them is, perhaps, essential to healthy child development. Now, a child can get through childhood

00:14:48 and turnout just fine without nature, but when you begin to look at these studies, you say why would we deny this to anybody to any child.

00:14:57 Yet the University of Illinois, ongoing set of studies show that children with just a little bit of contact with nature, if they have the symptoms of attention deficit disorder, those symptoms get better

00:15:09 very quickly, even kids as young as five years old. The people doing those studies suggest that nature therapy be added as a third therapy

00:15:20 for kids with those symptoms of attention deficit disorder. The other two traditional therapies being behavioral modification and Ritalin and other stimulants.

00:15:29 Now I'll say very clearly that personally I am not a radical on this, I think that some kids, you know, do need medication, but how many?

00:15:38 The huge increase in the number of kids being diagnosed with these symptoms, the huge increase with the number of kids being handed pills. The huge increase, not only of Ritalin,

00:15:49 but the huge increase in the number of kids being handed anti-depressants even as young as preschool and we now know that is very bad for them.

00:15:58 The huge increase or the increase in child, young and teenage suicide. Could these things have something to with the fact that we have taken the calming effect of nature

00:16:08 away from kids in the first place? Over a hundred studies of adults and children show that nature has a profoundly good effect on stress, on lowering bad stress. Just a little walk in the woods,

00:16:27 just a little bit, works wonderfully for kids and for adults.

00:16:35 Clint Eastwood recently had the conference in Carmel that he asked me to come to and some of us were taking bets on how long it would be

00:16:46 until somebody said "Make my day." It happened within about fifteen seconds, but he brought developers,

00:16:55 twenty-five biggest developers in California together to spend a day talking about, you know, having a workshop. How can we build developments, in the future, that actually connect kids to nature?

00:17:05 But there was a psychiatrist, a child and adolescence psychiatrist there who spoke and he said that he is not using nature directly

00:17:15 in his practice now, but that the book had changed his practice. What he does now is these kids that come in for treatment, the first thing he does is take them

00:17:24 for a walk along the Sacramento River and he says, "When they get back, then they are ready for therapy."

00:17:36 One of the really good things that has happened recently is that, just two weeks ago, the Nation's Health, which is the official newspaper of the American Public Health Association,

00:17:49 had a front-page story and a big full page jump about the children and nature movement that has emerged in the last couple of years.

00:17:59 It was a great story, it was very complementary. This is a big step because the medical community will often say,

00:18:07 "Well, where is all the longitudinal studies, the three decade studies?" and I say to them, "Where were you thirty years ago, why didn't you start them?"

00:18:15 You know, this is so understudied, all of this and there are reasons during the Q and A session, maybe we can talk about why that is,

00:18:26 I have some ideas about that, but it is very understudied, but now the Nations Health, the American Public Health Association is saying the same thing, same thing that Howard Frumkin,

00:18:37 who is the head of the Center for Environmental Health for the Center for Disease Control says,

00:18:46 which is, "Yes, we need more research, but we know enough to act."

00:18:53 Just as an illustration on the thing I was talking about, attention deficit disorder, I was in a hotel room in San Francisco a few weeks ago

00:19:04 and I picked up a magazine, one of those magazines you wonder where they come from in the hotel room, and I was reading and I looked at the back page, there was this wonderful photograph

00:19:13 on the back page, black and white photograph and there was a kid on the beach and he was running along, he looked like five or six years old and he was running along the beach,

00:19:24 his hands were outstretched, behind him were the grey waves coming in, looked like a California beach, and behind that was the storm clouds

00:19:32 and he was racing along with his hands outstretched and his eyes were filled with life and the story talked about how this little boy had a problem,

00:19:42 he had the wiggles. He couldn't sit still in class, he was disruptive. The school kicked him out.

00:19:51 The story next to the photograph said that his parents didn't know what to do, but his parents have been good and observant parents and they had seen

00:20:01 how nature experience helped their little boy focus and be more calm.

00:20:10 So for the next ten years, they took him all over the West to all the great wild places of the West and that little boy turned out okay.

00:20:21 The photograph was taken in 1906, and the little boy was Ansel Adams.

00:20:28 Now, the question is what would have happened to little Ansel if he had been placed on Ritalin and placed in a cubical

00:20:36 and expected not to move?

00:20:40 Again, a lot of kids do need medication, but how many? How many little Ansels and Anselettes are out there right now who have enormous talent,

00:20:52 who have enormous vision, who can give us great gifts in the future, if only we give them nature?

00:21:02 Other studies of creativity show that how kids play, they've looked at how kids play in natural play area compared to the flat asphalt

00:21:12 or turf playground. The kids in the natural play areas are far more likely to invent their own games, far more likely to play cooperatively.

00:21:25 It's interesting because organized sports for kids is marketed as a way to build teamwork in your kids, and it's true. But any of us who remember building a tree house with our buddies

00:21:37 or damming the little ditch in front of our house hoping that we would flood the neighborhood, we remember what that was like.

00:21:46 We remember that teamwork that just kind of happened. The leaders that emerge in these two types of environments are very different. The leaders who emerge

00:21:56 in the flat turf or cement playgrounds are the physically strongest. The leaders who emerge in the natural play areas

00:22:05 with green trees and bushes, those are the smartest kids, which makes sense, they are making up their own games.

00:22:13 Now, increasingly, you will hear from teachers that they are troubled by students who cannot seem to visualize things outside themselves.

00:22:25 One teacher that I met, actually set up a television in the front of the class and covered it with a black cloth and had kids sit there and look at it in order to begin to imagine.

00:22:37 I have heard this from a lot of teachers. I have also heard from teachers and parents all over the country again and again and again, how different Johnny or Judy is

00:22:48 when Johnny or Judy goes outside, particularly into nature and suddenly that trouble-maker is the leader

00:22:58 and yet, what are we doing? We are closing down playgrounds.

00:23:05 Now at some schools and I hope there are some here and certainly, you know, the park here, the people who have brought me here

00:23:16 are working on such wonderful ways in partnerships with schools to get those kids out into nature, we need to do that,

00:23:23 we need to do much, much more of that, but the studies go on, the cognitive development.

00:23:33 In the 1990s, kids in schools that had some kind of outdoor classroom, they were tested all over the country, those kids did better

00:23:43 across the board from social studies to standardized testing, to standardized testing. The study two years ago in California, California Department of Education looked at three school districts

00:23:55 that still had an immersion program in nature. The kids in those programs, like a 6th grade camp, those kids did 27 percent better on science testing

00:24:05 than the kids in the typical classroom. We have the evidence, just as we have the evidence for music and art and their effect on learning,

00:24:15 the fact that learning music helps with math. We knew that, and yet what did we do, we flooded the schools with more computers, which, you know,

00:24:24 are out of date in a year and a half. Computers are good. Computers are fine, but there is actually not a whole lot of evidence that computers

00:24:34 in the classroom are all that great as teaching tools. We are talking earlier, it's kind of like PowerPoint, you know. As you notice, I don't use PowerPoint

00:24:44 and in many of the speeches, people are incredulous, you know, when they hook me with the mic,

00:24:48 "You don't have a PowerPoint?" You can see them a kind of short-circuiting, you know? I said, "No, it gets in the way, this is about eye contact, this is about a conversation."

00:24:59 We put up too much information and the eye doesn't know where to go and the heart doesn't know where to go that is similar to how we are overloading our kids

00:25:08 with technology. Again, I love technology, but we are overloading them with that. Meanwhile, we are blocking out that trip up the stream

00:25:19 and all of the information from the world that will come into a child. When a child, or an adult, is in that setting

00:25:29 and all of the senses are working at the same time, which does not happen in front of a computer or television, you are just looking at that screen, you are blocking out the world,

00:25:38 but when that happens that's the optimum state of learning, when you are open, when you are open to what you see and hear and touch and smell

00:25:50 and, perhaps, when you do that, you sing for the bears, you learn. We need to give that to our children.

00:26:07 Let me say, too, in terms of the evidence for this break from nature and there is a lot more evidence we could talk about later about how great nature is for kids.

00:26:17 This is having a profound effect and people are noticing it in interesting industries, for instance. Two years ago, the Outdoor Industry Association asked me to give their key note,

00:26:27 they have two big conferences, conventions every year in Salt Lake. These are all the people who make backpacks, REI, etc.

00:26:36 The reason they asked me to do that is they're looking at the numbers and they are realizing they are selling lots of high-end gear,

00:26:46 expensive high-end gear to yuppies and baby boomers that usually stays in the garage with a four-wheel drive and what they are not selling very much of now

00:26:56 is entry level gear to the extent that some of these companies have stopped making it, which of course is self-fulfilling.

00:27:03 So, they are looking at the numbers and say will there would be an outdoor industry as we know it in ten or fifteen years?

00:27:10 Conservation groups have a great stake here. They are looking at their numbers, too. One of the biggest conservation groups in the United States, I won't tell you which one because they made me promise

00:27:21 not to tell which one, their average age is fifty-eight years old and getting older fast, they're kind of like newspaper readers.

00:27:31 That's not good news for the future of the environment itself. Recently, I was in Ukiah, California a few months ago

00:27:43 up in the mountains, beautiful place, mist in the trees, wonderful place. The educators there told me the same things, they tell me everywhere. Even though nature is right there, the kids are not going out.

00:27:58 Ukiah is Spotted Owl central, remember the whole Spotted Owl issue? Raises an interesting question. Is the Spotted Owl the leading endangered indicator species, or is it something else?

00:28:11 I think if kids are not going outside now and bonding with nature, who in the world will care about the Spotted Owl or any other endangered species in ten or fifteen years?

00:28:22 Yes, there will always be conservationists, environmentalists, but increasingly unless we turn this around and I believe we can, nature will be carried

00:28:33 in people's briefcases, not in their hearts. It is a very different kind of relationship.

00:28:44 As in the studies, by the way, show that all this to a person, conservationists, people with an environmental consciousness, had some kind of transcendant experience in nature when they were kids.

00:28:55 They had a sense that they owned nature and nature owned them. We had that sense if we are lucky enough to have had it, to be that age.

00:29:08 I started by talking about my woods, that my sense of ownership, they were my woods. They were so much my woods that

00:29:17 as an eight-year-old, I think I pulled out hundreds of survey stakes that I knew I had something to do with bulldozers that were taking out other woods.

00:29:27 So how many here pulled out survey stakes, be honest when you were kids, like look around, no.... come on! Don't be shy! There is a lot of hands.

00:29:37 I hereby induct you into the secret society of stake pullers, you are stake holders in that society.

00:29:45 I told that story last year in Albuquerque, as I usually do, and this was to a group called the Quivira Coalition, which is a really interesting group in the West.

00:29:57 It is bringing together ranchers and environmentalists, who are sometimes the same thing and they are doing land trust together, etc.

00:30:09 Afterwards in the question period, a rancher stood up and he was the real deal, he was in his sixties, his jeans had not been acid washed, he had a long white handlebar mustache

00:30:21 with sunburn and thick plastic rim glasses and he says, "You know that story you told about pulling out stakes," and I said, "Yes."

00:30:30 and he said, "I did that when I was a boy." And then he began to cry in front of 500 people half of whom were wearing cowboy hats

00:30:40 and despite his deep embarrassment, he continued to talk about his deep sense of grief that his might be one of the last generations to have that kind of

00:30:50 sense of ownership of land, it is nothing to do with money.

00:30:55 A little while later, I was signing books and a young woman in her forties, a rancher came up and she said, "You know, that story you told about pulling out stakes?" And I said, "Yes." She said, "I did that when I was a girl too, but I did it different.

00:31:07 I did it from my horse and my horse got so used me pulling out stakes, that it started taking me over to the stakes,

00:31:15 to pull out that stake." But that sense of ownership, that sense of belonging in the world, we have to begin to think about

00:31:26 comparative risk, in terms of comparative risk. In terms of why the split is happening just briefly; obviously electronics have something to do with it.

00:31:35 You know, they are seductive and distracting and wonderful in many ways, but it's too easy to blame this only on video games, kind of like for those who are older,

00:31:47 remember when Elvis came in and rock-and-roll, all of our sins were blamed on that and of course, our sins were not due to rock-and-roll,

00:31:54 well... maybe some of them, but the video games have, kind of, taken on that mantle now.

00:32:03 Yes and in fact the American Medical Association came very close last year to declaring video game addiction an official addiction.

00:32:12 So, it's an important issue, but it is not the main issue. Access to nature is very important, but you know, if you go to the new edge of Kansas City

00:32:22 that looks just like where I grew up, where kids can go right out that backdoor and right into the corn field and into the woods, they are not going.

00:32:29 Just as they are not going out in Ukiah. So, you know, it's impossible to go out in the woods if they have been cut down, it's true, but it's not just access.

00:32:39 Parents say they are so busy, there is no time for it and their kids lives are so over-scheduled and their kids are sitting in the back seat,

00:32:48 there is actually an ad that shows this and, I have actually seen this in person. Kids sitting in the back seat of the mini van, going to the play date, the video screen is flipped down

00:32:57 and they are watching National Geographic specials about nature instead of looking out the window and they are going to a play date and just, life is just so over organized for adults,

00:33:09 for kids. We feel this.

00:33:14 But it's not that either, I do not think, entirely. We always make time for the things we value ultimately and how many of us here go to gyms?

00:33:25 We find the time, either that or you're like me and you join the gym and you never go.

00:33:33 So it's not just that. I think that the underbelly of this issue is fear. I think we are living in a state of fear. I think as parents we are just terrified,

00:33:44 mainly of stranger danger. Now it is interesting when you look at the actual statistics for instance on stranger abductions,

00:33:54 the number is really not that big, one is too many but it is about 150 to 200, around in there, a year. It has been steady or going down for at least two decades.

00:34:05 The vast majority of abductions are by family members or somebody of the family knows, not by strangers.

00:34:13 There is a study from Duke University and it says that violence toward children outside the home has actually dropped about 31 percent, I believe, in the last either ten or fifteen years.

00:34:26 If those numbers are getting better, actually, what's happening? Why do we feel? Why is our perception that stranger danger is skyrocketing?

00:34:38 I hold my own profession largely to blame. Yes, it's entertainment media but is also the news media. I would like to think it's those electronic guys, not us print guys, but it's us, too

00:34:51 but all you have to do truly is watch CNN or Fox and you will see how they take quite consciously, a handful of terrible crimes

00:35:00 against children and they repeat them over and over and over again and when they get done telling us about the crime, then they tell us about the trial

00:35:11 over and over and over again and when it is a really slow news week, they go find JonBenet Ramsey again.

00:35:20 That's the very definition of conditioning. It does not match the reality, it's bad reporting, it's bad journalism, but they know what they are doing.

00:35:29 They are keeping you from switching that remote

00:35:36 and because of that we are living in a state of fear, some people think this is a conspiracy, I don't, that would attribute far too much institutional intelligence to my profession,

00:35:45 but it has the effect of conspiracy. We have to confront that fear and we need to do that, we can't wait for the media to change.

00:35:53 The news media is not going to change anytime soon. We have to do it ourselves. We have to begin to think in terms of comparative risk.

00:36:01 Yes, there is risk out there. I'm not saying there is not a bear on that stream. There are bad people out there.

00:36:13 There is even risk in nature, but there is huge risk in raising future generations under protective house arrest. A risk to their sense of community. Believe it or not,

00:36:25 it takes going out the front door to have a sense of community, to discover your neighborhood. A risk to our sense of connection to the earth.

00:36:37 A risk to our psychological health. These studies did show this link. A risk to our self sense of efficacy in the future.

00:36:47 A risk to our sense of self-confidence. A risk, actually, of danger when we grow up, when children grow up without much experience

00:36:57 outside the house or outside of cyberspace. They are much less aware of what is going on around them when they don't have that experience outside the house.

00:37:10 Ultimately, also this is a terrible risk to their bodies. If we want a real risk that can be counted, we'll look at child obesity; it's skyrocketing, as we all know.

00:37:20 The people who have been studying child obesity have come to conclusion that whatever we are doing is not handling the problem. The greatest increase in child obesity

00:37:30 in our history occurred during the same two decades as the greatest increase in organized sports for children, in our history. Something has been

00:37:38 missing from this national conversation, nature is seldom seen as a word in the literature on child obesity, it is starting show up

00:37:48 that kind of play that many of us remember when we got home from school and threw our books on the couch and raced outside

00:37:58 and we were out there until the streetlights came on, maybe we were playing touch football with our buddies, making it up as we went along making up new rules

00:38:05 or if you were like me, you are out in the field and in the woods, etc. That has disappeared largely from childhood, not everywhere, but largely it has.

00:38:19 That sedentary lifestyle has a direct effect on our children's health and that is a risk. Pediatricians are now saying that this generation of children may be the first

00:38:28 to have a lower life expectancy than their parents in our history, that's a risk. Legally, we need to begin

00:38:37 to think in terms of comparative risk. The litigious societies, not only are parents terrified of strangers, they are terrified at strange lawyers

00:38:45 and I've been talking to a lot of trial lawyers, you know, consumer lawyers about this and asking them to lead the way

00:38:53 to tell us how to change this so that, for instance, that school district that is putting up no running signs on the playground is no longer so afraid.

00:39:05 One environmental lawyer in Bay area came up with an interesting idea recently. He thinks that we need a "Leave No Child Inside legal defense fund,"

00:39:18 in which attorneys, also insurance companies, or others could put money into a foundation, send pro bono lawyers to the rescue to good parents that have had,

00:39:27 you know, they did this sin of letting their kids built a tree house and they got sued by the Community Association to actually cherry pick really egregious

00:39:35 cases and intentionally bring media to them and help these folks not settle out of court and that would send a different message

00:39:45 and by talking briefly about something I have thought about a lot since the book came out, which is how we talk to ourselves

00:39:55 and how we talk to our children, our teenagers about the future. Particularly, the future of the environment.

00:40:05 Last year, I got back from a trip and I was asked to go to speak

00:40:10 at a high school near where I live. I didn't want to go. I was tired and I had just gotten back, then I started thinking I wrote this book about kids and then I started feeling guilty

00:40:19 and so I went and I expected twenty kids, and there were 200. They were given extra credit, [Laughter]

00:40:29 and I talked for about an hour and you could've heard a pin drop and it is not because I am a great speaker, I'm not. It was something else.

00:40:41 These kids were really, really paying attention, I was not prepared for this and I talked about two things;

00:40:50 I talked about the fact that their health, the full use of their senses, psychological health, physical health has a direct relationship to their experience

00:41:01 in nature in a very positive way if they have that experience.

00:41:07 Their health, not an abstraction. The second thing I talked about was because of global warming and these climate change whatever we want to call it and these huge environmental issues

00:41:19 that we do face, because of that, everything in the next forty years must change. We will need new kinds of energy, of course, it's already beginning.

00:41:28 We will need new kinds of agriculture. It's already beginning. We will need new kinds of urban design and architecture. It's already beginning with the green urbanism and biophilic design, it's already beginning.

00:41:40 Everything must change because of what we face. Now to a sixteen-year-old, that's good news. That's whole new careers will emerge, that don't even have a name.

00:41:53 This is an opportunity because everything must change, we may be entering the most creative period in hundreds of years of human history,

00:42:02 because everything must change. How many times, how many generations believe at age sixteen that we need a new civilization?

00:42:11 My generation believed that and what have we been telling these kids. We've been telling them, " know as baby boomers we tried that, didn't quite work out."

00:42:22 We have to change that message. This time, we really do need a new civilization and the enormous creativity that could be unleashed to

00:42:32 not only solve the problems or lessen them, but actually to create a better civilization.

00:42:41 We can talk more about that in the Q and A period, but there is great news out there about the kinds of cities, the kinds of schools, the kinds of houses, the kinds

00:42:50 of jobs that are going to emerge because everything must change. When the kids left, I turned to the biology teacher and I said, "What was that all about?

00:42:59 Why were they so attentive?" then he said, "Simple, Rich, you said something hopeful about the future of the environment, they never hear that."

00:43:09 Essentially, what they are hearing, they hear other things, but essentially what they are hearing from my profession, primarily, is that that when it comes to the environment, the game is over.

00:43:19 Then why would we want to expect them to want to suit up for the games? Surprisingly, they still do, many of them. The truth is though

00:43:27 that only some people are motivated by despair, the rest of us need something else. In the end,

00:43:35 there really isn't any practical alternative to hope. We need to give that to ourselves, we need to be generous with hope

00:43:43 to ourselves, to our kids because it really is the only way out.

00:43:51 Not long ago, I was introduced at a speech in Florida by Lieutenant Governor and we were sitting up here.

00:43:57 We were talking before that and at one point, she said, "Rich, you think things will ever be as good as they used to be?"

00:44:05 and when I spoke, I said, "You know, the Lieutenant Governors asked an interesting question, but it's the wrong question.

00:44:12 The right question is, how can we make things better then they ever were? If we're not asking that question, we are in big trouble. We need to ask that question."

00:44:20 Martin Luther King said in many ways that, "Any movement will fail if it cannot paint a picture of a world that we will want to go to."

00:44:31 We have been failing the painting in that picture. It is time to paint that picture. We can paint that picture and perhaps the first brush strokes

00:44:43 will describe the simple act of each of us taking a child into nature. Thank You.

00:44:51 [Applause]

00:45:06 We are going to have a question and answer session here. There are microphones located in the two aisles

00:45:15 and the first question I would like to invite a representative from Cold Springs School to come up and ask the question.

00:45:24 Can we have a student from Cold Springs come up to ask the first question?

00:45:30 Who do you think is really responsible for the cure of nature deficit? Do you think it is the parents or the schools?

00:45:38 Well, those are two, it is a good question. Yeah, those are two areas of responsibility. I'm really careful not to put all of the

00:45:49 blame or responsibility and I don't blame on this, except maybe my profession. I don't want to place all of this burden on parent's shoulders.

00:46:01 We already have a lot of guilt. We don't need lot of sense of guilt, we don't need anymore. We are victims, in a sense of this, too, as parents,

00:46:10 but we can do a huge amount where there is much that we can do, we can talk about that later. Schools similar, while schools can do a huge, give a huge gift to this issue and some are,

00:46:24 I mean this really is beginning to be talked about a lot more in education circles. I am pleased to tell you that there are right now two bills in congress; one in the House

00:46:35 and one in the Senate, both of them are called "Leave No Child Inside Act" and both are designed to bring nature back into the classroom

00:46:44 and get kids back out into nature in the schools. They need help doing that, but the responsibility isn't all theirs, either. What's emerging here, really, is a partnership among Conservation Groups,

00:46:56 among businesses including government, including schools, including the nature centers, including, you know, the Eagle Creek Park Foundation,

00:47:08 including the art museum; they are doing some wonderful things here, I am so excited about that. I've not seen what they are doing here, elsewhere,

00:47:17 from an art museum. What we really need is what is already happening. There are at least forty urban regions in the country where very unlikely allies

00:47:30 have started to come together and build regional campaigns, regional movements, sometimes as in Cincinnati they are called

00:47:38 "Leave No Child Inside," you know, the naming is tricky. When they first started that it was called "Leave No Child Inside Cincinnati." [Laughter]

00:47:53 I would like to ask a question about the concept of unstructured play and I know that in many cases that's an issue with the organizations that deal with children.

00:48:10 Well, first, this afternoon I talked to someone, I am sorry, I don't remember his name, I think he is here tonight, who is thinking about this in a very deep way

00:48:20 in terms of how to create a land trust that actually can secure that land so that kids can go out and do the kinds of the things that we play and that parents won't be afraid.

00:48:32 That's going to be really hard to do, but if it can be done here, it can spread all over the country and I don't know all the details

00:48:39 and he is going to tell me later, but it sounds great. There is a built-in paradox in this issue that runs all the way through it, and the paradox is that

00:48:48 because of the level of fear the parents feel, much more than a kid. Because of that...let me pull back on that for a second.

00:48:58 At Eagle Creek Park here where I was just at today, they had buses come up from the inner-city from kids that get off that bus and believe

00:49:08 there are lions and tigers there and are scared. I hear this all over the country, so, you know, I have to add that to the context,

00:49:20 but the parents are so scared that in order, paradoxically, to give kids some semblance of unorganized

00:49:31 play or activity in nature, we are probably going to have to organize a lot of it and it's just going to have to be a paradox we live with and work with,

00:49:38 with a sense of humor. There are ways to do this; nature centers, etc., developing techniques to stand back to allow the child some experience on,

00:49:49 you know, the child is in charge of, not some adult hovering over them with nature flashcards, you know. Truly, ultimately,

00:49:59 it's about the experience, not the information. The information is very important, but what kids are lacking the most is simply the experience

00:50:09 of being in nature, just for the joy of it. Rachel Carson said, "that when introducing a child to nature, the most important thing is not

00:50:19 what you know, it's how you feel," your sense of enthusiasm, etc. One of the neat things about this and by the way, I think that

00:50:28 because of the fear also, two things need happen or three things; one is the information about this new body of evidence that how great it is for kids,

00:50:39 cognitively, psychologically, physically, has to get out there. It is starting to get out there. The second thing is, because of the fear, which is not going to go away, as parents,

00:50:50 grandparents, aunts, uncles, good adults. We are going to have to be intentional about this. We are going to have to take kids into nature ourselves.

00:50:58 That's what I did with my sons; we did a lot of fishing. I had that same sense of fear, even though I knew better.

00:51:05 I had written about those statistics but when I was raising my kids, they didn't have the kind of freedom I did. Right or wrong but what I did do

00:51:14 is be very intentional and I am glad I was; we have to do that, it's not going to happen accidentally, and the third thing that is going to have to happen

00:51:22 is we are going to have to give far more financial and moral support to the kinds of institutions and organizations that are helping, not only kids but young parents get out into nature and have that free experience as free as it can be.

00:51:39 We have to remember there is a young generation of parents coming up right now that many of them did not have the privilege of that experience

00:51:46 and even when they know how great nature is for kids, they don't know where to start. So, they need the institutions and organizations. The scouting organizations, the nature centers,

00:51:54 you know, the art museums. Whoever it is in a community that is helping make that happen, we need to help them.

00:52:00 During the recent, and actually still going on, Ted Burns World War II series, he meant and we heard twice where

00:52:11 veterans mentioned their survival came about because of Scouts. One was first aid, but the other was, you know, the March in Batan and learning it,

00:52:21 knowing about the outdoors and surviving. My introduction to the outdoors, my parent's introduction to the outdoors, and my children's was through scouting,

00:52:31 Boy and Girl Scouts. Have they lost their impact? Or is there something we can do to enable something that's already in effect?

00:52:41 Well, I'm really supportive of all scouting, whether its Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts or Campfire, you know, there is a number of traditional organizations. Boy Scouts have obviously had some problems politically.

00:52:55 Girl Scouts have not had those problems politically and yet Girl Scouts, I make this case in the book, I love the Girl Scouts but I think they have been trying to be all things to all people.

00:53:06 A book agent once told me that a book that is for everyone is for no one. I think there's a great niche market here waiting to be, you know, for

00:53:16 scouting to come back to, to really focus on nature. In addition to that, I would like to see additional scouting organizations and there are some emerging or scouting-type organizations.

00:53:29 I have been taking to John Flicker, the head of National Audubon Society about this. It could be Audubon, it could someone else, but Audubon has, you know, either Audubon directly or the regional Audubons

00:53:42 have a huge number of nature centers all across the country, some of which were just museums before, but they have moved more towards the experiential,

00:53:50 that I believe is the set of vertebrae for a new backbone of a new kind of scouting, and I would like to see whether we call it Audubon or something else,

00:54:00 I would like to see a new kind of scouting that is not age limited. That is from preschool to pre-heaven. That will recruit

00:54:13 many of the people in this room whose hair looks like mine, although they may have more of it.

00:54:20 Could I ask quickly?

00:54:21 Yeah!

00:54:22 You have the idea, what about those of us who might be working with some of those organizations, what do you suggest we could do that might be effective?

00:54:30 I think to see this as a great opportunity for recruitment. It's interesting the way you entered that question, which is about safety.

00:54:42 We don't usually think about scouting or those kinds of outdoor, you know, the wilderness programs, etc., they are about safety, they are about survival, in a sense,

00:54:52 and it's not only, you know, knowing how to tie the knot when you are about to fall off a cliff, it is also about the awareness of what is around you.

00:55:01 It's that story I told you about the bears. That can be true in an inner-city, also that kind of awareness. It's the physical safety, in terms of your physical health.

00:55:11 It's your psychological safety in terms of your sense of self-confidence, being able to make decisions. Studies do show that being out in nature very much enhances that.

00:55:24 It's interesting, you know, this is again my profession. Couple of years ago, do you remember the story about the Scout who got lost? I think it was in Utah.

00:55:33 There was a boy scout that got lost and was just all over, and it was like three days of nonstop and the ticker tape and all of that,

00:55:40 and they finally found him and it turned out he had been really close by and he had been running away from his rescuers

00:55:49 and the reason is; he didn't know them and his parents had drilled into him that strangers are evil, so it wasn't nature

00:55:58 that could've gotten him, in the end, it was fear.

00:56:06 Thank you very much, Richard, for that insight and we have one more question.

00:56:15 Hello, this is more, I guess, a kind of testimony. My name is Anna, I'm a graduate student at IU Bloomington, studying how to promote ecoliteracy in early childhood

00:56:25 and for four years I taught at a school in the Bay area where every Friday, the children were allowed six hours to be outside, it was a nature-based school, wilder inspired school,

00:56:36 and I had the pleasure of working with the same group of children for four years and it was amazing to see their connection deepen, at first from a very magical sense,

00:56:47 but then into a really strong sense of connection and stewardship, and I still keep in touch with them now and they are all very involved

00:56:54 and all very innovative and they all still have that sparkle in their eyes and, you know, there is this fear that how are they going to do if there is a school, you know, the school is spending so much time with them being in nature,

00:57:06 but they're all doing wonderfully academically, and then I also have a question and I am a parent, as well, and

00:57:15 from being a naturalist, I sometimes allow my son to do some things that people, you know, let him go surfing when he was four

00:57:22 and sometimes people are like, how can you do that? So, what are some ways to address that fear?

00:57:32 There is interestingly a lot of social pressure towards parents who let their kids go outdoors these days. After a speech in Florida, one woman came up to me and told me the story. She said that she and her husband purposefully moved to a house that have woods behind them and they encouraged their kids to go out and pitch their tents in summer,

00:57:49 run in and out to the refrigerator and back out and have fun, you know, build forts, all of that radical stuff and

00:57:59 a neighbor, a woman came to their door one day and knocked on the door and basically accused them of child neglect, and the mother said,

00:58:09 "But you don't understand, this is so great for the kids, it is great, you know, for their body...da da da daa..., it is really good for these kids!" and the visiting mother says

00:58:16 " are such a liberal." [Laughter]

00:58:20 You know, there is lot of strange definitions of liberal, but that is the strangest yet, somebody lets her kids go outside and play in the woods in the back of the yard.

00:58:30 One of the neatest e-mails I've gotten, and it came right after the book came out. It was from a woman, and there were a lot of parents that were trying to and are doing the right thing.

00:58:37 Like me, they are doing a, kind of, limited compared to what their childhood is, but they are trying. And, out of instinct, out of nostalgia and now they have this new body of evidence.

00:58:50 And one of the neatest e-mails was from a woman, a mother, and they had made some decisions to get their kids nature, and the subject line was, "Now I know why I'm doing what I'm doing, and why it's right."

00:59:04 Let me just end by talking about Indianapolis in this region and the potential here. When I had dinner last night with some of the leaders from this area

00:59:16 who care about this issue, the ones listed in the program here. This region has tremendous sophistication, tremendous ability to move ahead on this issue.

00:59:28 It is already happening here. As it becomes more organized, you could potentially learn from some of the other cities like Cincinnati and others and then move ahead of them, potentially.

00:59:40 I always do this. When I am in Canada, I tell them, "You can do better than the United States, can't you?"

00:59:44 But truly, I mean, you have so much potential here. When an art museum dedicates itself to this issue like that, that tells you something.

00:59:56 There is something special about this issue that I did not understand when I was writing the book. I didn't know it was intrinsically hopeful.

01:00:08 I organized, tore up the book, reorganized it, you know, because I didn't really want people slicing their wrist after chapter three.

01:00:15 I wanted them to keep reading, so hope is kind of all the way through that. It turns out though, when I first started going out and talking and people would come to the little book club and bookstore things,

01:00:28 I realized they weren't leaving depressed. I'm a journalist. I'm used to depressing people, and there is some disturbing facts here going on, but they weren't leaving.

01:00:38 They were leaving feeling "We can do this." We may feel overwhelmed by so many big problems, but we can do this and particularly when they understood the huge power, in terms of

01:00:48 where conservation has come from, in the future. The huge power that can be had just by doing this simple act.

01:00:55 The second thing is it is not a simple act. It may be a simple act to do, but it is not a simple act in its impact.

01:01:04 I have learned that it doesn't matter what somebody's politics or religion is, they always want to tell me about the tree house or that special place in the woods,

01:01:14 that still exists in their heart, if they are old enough to have had that experience. This issue has gotten support, literally,

01:01:23 from the Sierra Club to the 700 Club. I was on the 700 Club a few weeks ago, I never thought I would be on the 700 Club. The religious community has come to support this.

01:01:37 Of all kinds, liberal, conservative, I think that smart, religious people understand intuitively that all spiritual life begins with the sense of wonder.

01:01:48 We can remember that, when we were three or four or perhaps out in the backyard, you know, crawling along on hands and knees and turning over a rock and finding, for the first time,

01:01:57 that we were not alone in the universe. And that sense of awe and wonder, listening to wind and trees when we were that age, we cannot shut that window.

01:02:12 Politically, I was giving testimony. I was asked to give testimony twice in Congress and the first time I could make it and this was the Interior Appropriation subcommittee

01:02:24 and six Congressmen came. I am told that that's a big turnout, but it was very interesting watching this process.

01:02:34 Afterwards, they wouldn't let it go. All these six men, all they wanted to talk about was that place in their heart that still exists. How it was when they were a kid

01:02:45 and they had that the same sense, that rancher that I described, that same sense that we cannot be the last generation or one of the last generations

01:02:53 to have that kind of sense of attachment to land and to nature. In those moments, there were no Democrats in the room. There were no Republicans.

01:03:05 The secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne, the new one. He has adopted this as his most important issue. I was told this by a lot of people, then I actually saw it.

01:03:15 He carries around a battered copy of Last Child in the Woods. He asked me to talk to the 300 top managers in the entire Interior Department. I did. They gave me a standing ovation

01:03:25 and it helps to have the boss endorse you. Then he said to them all "I want you to go today in this room, go figure out what the entire Department of Interior can do."

01:03:39 In all of its departments to connect kids to nature and a lot is going to come from that. I have heard about somethings. It goes on and on,

01:03:50 even developers, as I mentioned. Not long after the book came out, a developer wrote me an e-mail and said he just finished the book, he was profoundly disturbed by it,

01:04:00 he said. Now I pulled out a lot of stakes, so I was ready for that. But, then he went on. He says I want to do something about this and he had me to an envisioning session

01:04:11 in Phoenix. There were about eighty developers and real estate marketers in the room, I gave my sermonette, I got ready to run, then he turns to them and he says "I want you all to go into small groups.

01:04:19 I want you to solve the problem. How can we build developments in the future that actually connect kids to nature?" The room filled with noise, happy noise, these are developers-happy noise. They came back.

01:04:30 They started reporting their ideas, some of them were really practical and good like, "Leave some land in the first place." Good place to start, but then they had a bunch of other ideas about nature centers

01:04:40 on that land and nature trails and all that, and many of them now are starting to see this as a real marketing thing and as I did at the Eastwood thing,

01:04:50 I really emphasized that I hope in their creation, in helping create this new civilization that I was talking about, that they focus, not just on the edges of the cities,

01:05:02 but on the crumbling second and third run suburbs and all of those redundant shopping centers, what if they were replaced with the kind of ecotowns that I just visited in the Netherlands

01:05:14 that have more density and more nature. What if we rebuilt our civilization to inform everywhere we live and everywhere we work with nature? The people who design these buildings, by the way,

01:05:26 some of the them are no longer calling them, green buildings, they're calling them high performance building and it is not because of the performance of the energy. The old definition,

01:05:36 it seems to be of green urbanism was all about efficiency, got it do that, got to save that energy, ultimately kind of boring, eat your peas. But got to do that, but the new definition and they are findings this out,

01:05:50 the people who work in buildings that have nature in the design from the beginning, then kept there, are more productive, sick time goes down, turnover gets better, etc., etc.

01:06:01 That's high productivity, that's creating a world that is even better than the one we are in. That's ultimately where this issue leads us. Whether it's education or the developments that are being built.

01:06:15 The redesign of our cities, the redesign of environmentalism itself. This is not just about the restoration of nature. This is about the restoration of humans.

01:06:29 It is about human restoration through nature, that's the great work, that Indianapolis could be one of the leading regions in accomplishing. I have sensed that last night when we had dinner. I sense that now, you have great leadership here.

01:06:46 You have great institutions already. I would hope that you do this movement. Thanks!

01:06:53 [Applause]

01:07:10 Thank you, Richard. We are gathered here tonight in the Deer-Zink Pavilion. First of all, Wayne, thanks for the use of the room.

01:07:23 But I would like to call up Wayne Zink who is the CEO of Endangered Species Chocolate Company to give us a few final words.

01:07:32 I know we are going a little longer than before, but I think Wayne can keep the lights on for a couple more minutes, so Wayne, please come on up.

01:07:41 [Applause]

01:07:48 Wow...So in the program it's listed that I will give a response. My response is thank you. Thank you! Profound, moving, amazing.

01:08:02 Those of you who know me, know that the place I go in my heart is Brown County. Randy Deer and I have a home there and it's very, very special to us and that is the place

01:08:16 where our family had an epiphany and the epiphany is we want to invest in Indianapolis and we want to support this museum because art and nature are very linked

01:08:33 and I think that, Richard, is why this museum is so invested in nature and so invested in helping youth in our culture here understand how nature touches them.

01:08:45 So, I want to tell you two personal stories. I do a little bit of volunteer work sometimes at Jameson Camp, many of you know about Jameson Camp; it's a treasure.

01:08:54 It's a 100 acres of beautiful green space in our city and for those of you want to experience what it's like to see what nature can do for a child, experience Jameson Camp.

01:09:07 So, I was out there volunteering. I run Endangered Species Chocolate and I have a Masters in Counseling, go figure, you know? So, I am out there volunteering using by Masters in Counseling

01:09:19 and there is always this moment, there is a moment when the child steps off the bus and looks at the 100 acres and it's kind of like this...

01:09:36 and sometimes it takes three days for that child to understand the idea of space, the idea of flowing water, the idea of what grass feels like when it's moist.

01:09:52 At first, I was very excited by that experience and then I became profoundly troubled because I realized these children right here in our community were touching earth

01:10:04 like that for the first time.

01:10:08 So, more work for us to do. Now I want to link nature and art and explain why family, my little family supports the museum.

01:10:19 That same group that year from Jameson Camp came here and I volunteer for a camp called Tataya Mato and Tataya Mato Jameson Camp works for the children who have in someway been affected by HIV.

01:10:34 It is a beautiful camp, it's intensive, it's ten days, it's 24/7 and these volunteers give their hearts and their lives to helping these children, it's amazing.

01:10:43 So we came here with a group of children and a young girl, ten years old, who I'd happened to work with three consecutive years, so I knew her,

01:10:51 was standing in front of a beautiful work, if you have not seen it, the Bill Viola upstairs here in the Contemporary Gallery and while standing in front of the Bill Viola which is a piece that speaks, it's a movement piece, it's a video piece and it has five men expressing five emotions,

01:11:09 depression, anger, and fear...She was standing in front of this Bill Viola, quiet and silent, for thirty seconds, so I am watching and then ninety seconds, became concerned, she is ten,

01:11:24 and was very still in front of the Bill Viola and I walked up and I said, "What's up?" and I looked at her

01:11:33 and she had tears running down her eyes and she said, "That's how I feel...that's how I feel."

01:11:42 The art allowed her to understand the pain she was experiencing because of HIV present in her life. So, in the same breath we have an opportunity.

01:11:55 We have an opportunity right here in this community to use nature and to use art to help the children and Richard is right,

01:12:06 we have tremendous leadership and we are blessed. So, I want to thank Richard and I want to take a moment to thank the IMA

01:12:13 and to thank Linda Duke and please a round of applause. This is her brainchild, and she does so much...Marsha Oliver...

01:12:23 Anne, thank you. And, thank you for coming tonight. We are a lucky community. Thank you.

01:12:29 [Applause]