Leave no child … away from the Bay

Bringing Bay Area students to the shoreline (Dan Sullivan)
Bringing Bay Area students to the shoreline (Dan Sullivan)

Sparked by Richard Louv’s 2005 book, Last Child in the Woods, there is a growing national conversation about the urgent necessity for our children to connect with the natural world. Mr. Louv called it the “leave-no-child-inside” movement in Orion Magazine.

While Save The Bay hasn’t officially claimed its place in the “leave-no-child-inside” movement, we engage thousands of youth each year through our award-winning outdoor programs and advocacy efforts. For over a decade, our Community-based Restoration Program has involved almost 60,000 youth and adults in hands-on restoration stewardship projects at different sites all around the Bay. This year, over 5,000 adult and youth volunteers will donate 20,000 hours of their time to enhance and restore 120 acres of vital Bay habitats with their own hands.

Our Restoration Education Programs bring Bay Area students out to the shoreline by the hundreds to restore tidal marsh. Using the Bay as our classroom and laboratory, we offer field trips to middle and high school students that teach science and inspire ecological stewardship and leadership. We are doing our part to counteract what Louv calls “nature-deficit disorder”.

Our innovative restoration team has created 4 engaging education programs to inspire our next generation of SF Bay stewards. Because “spending all day in the mud cleaning trash out of the marsh of that Bay and learning about the need for environmental protection” can in fact change your life.

My favorite part of working at Save The Bay is exploring so many new and different Bay shoreline areas. The Bay is such an important part of our region’s open space – including our own national wildlife refuge! – and it is great to know that we are leaving no child inside, and introducing so many children to the fantastic natural world that lies at our feet.