Summit encourages importance of nature

Event to be held at Brukner Nature Center

TROY — Growing up outdoors building forts, skipping rocks, walking barefoot and watching the clouds roll by is becoming rare as our connection to nature is being replaced by screen time and technology. The Miami Valley Leave No Child Inside Collaborative is working to reverse this trend. The Collaborative Board is comprised of regional park districts, private nature centers, soil and water districts & health and wellness professionals along with dozens of community partners.

The Eighth annual Leave No Child Inside Summit enables educators, child care professionals and parents to establish ways to connect our children to nature to make them happier, healthier and smarter. The summit takes place at Brukner Nature Center on Saturday, March 30.

MVLNCI’s summit opens at 8 a.m. for registration, booths and networking. Summit welcome begins 8:30 a.m. Workshop presentation will include: Award presentations for OUTstanding Teacher & Connect to Nature Sites awards followed by breakout workshop sessions for teachers, parents and child care providers. Summit and special booths close at 1:30 p.m. but Brukner Nature Center remains open until 5 pm. Participants are welcome to bring a snack to share during breaks and display time till 1:30 p.m. There will also be refreshments available for all registered participants.

Three breakout workshop choices include:

Create a green schoolyard

Adults only please. Learn the steps to establishing a successful green schoolyard presented by Five Rivers MetroParks and learn about incorporating curriculum in the garden. This training is designed for school teachers and administrators who will receive a certificate of participation. Please bring a basic sketch of your school grounds to the workshop.

“The create a Green Schoolyards workshop will be a great opportunity for educators to network while getting ideas on how to create a garden/habitat spaces at their school. The program will also will include examples of activities educators can do to get kids outside, and out of the classroom. Normally this workshop is only offered in Montgomery County so this is an excellent opportunity for educators from the surrounding counties to attend this informative workshop.” Jeremy Barkley will be the workshop leader.

Hike it baby

Family Friendly Option. Walk with this group as you learn how to involve children along the journey. Wild animal encounters as well as Brukner Animal Ambassador and tips for parents and hike leaders on creating a successful outing will be featured as well as a review of how to become involved with Hike It Baby; A national family initiative getting families outside together.

Growing up wild

Adults only please. SUTQ 3 credits (OPIN required): Explore nature with young children ages 3-7 with easy to use activities. From the award-winning nationally recognized Growing Up WILD curriculum. Each participant receives guidebook provided by ODNR.

Registration is required and will be used to secure you participation in the tailored workshop of your choice (limited by capacity and registration order). To register, go to

If you have questions or would like more information please contact Mandy Martin, Naturalist at Darke County Parks at (937) 548-0165 or

Event to be held at Brukner Nature Center