Getting to know nature: evaluating the effects of the Get to Know Program on children’s connectedness with nature
– paper in the current issue
Volume 23, Issue 1, January 2017, Page 43-62
Coral M. Bruni, Patricia L. Winter, P. Wesley Schultz, Allen M. Omoto & Jennifer J. Tabanico
People in industrialized countries may be losing their connection with nature. The Get to Know Program (Get to Know) is a multi-faceted program aimed at encouraging direct connection with nature through a variety of activities (observations of wildlife, hiking, creative arts, and special events), specifically among youth. Three studies assessed the effects of three Get to Know program activities on youth’s implicit connectedness with nature (measured using a computer based game). Participants were youth recruited from southern California schools or youth organizations. Participation in the Get to Know Program’s Creative Arts Contest was associated with increased implicit connectedness with nature. However, participation in the Get to Know Natural Treasure Adventure and Virtual Hike did not have an effect on connectedness with nature. Implications of these findings are important for agencies seeking to find effective tools for outreach focused on connecting participants with nature.
Keywords: connectedness with nature, implicit association test, environmental program