Flat Ranch Preserve manager, Matthew Ward, reflects on how spending time outside invigorates his son, Quinn.

For many of our Conservancy staff members, nature isn't just a profession, it's a passion they want to share with their children. Idaho's Matthew Ward believes parents have a responsibility to provide outside play as an essential part of a day.


A new survey reveals parents around the world are concerned children are not spending enough time outdoors. What is your reaction to that?

Matthew Ward:

It is worrisome to us and we believe it is crucial to a child’s well-being and health to spend a significant amount of time outside every day. And as parents we have the obligation and responsibility to provide outside play as an essential part of our children’s day. We are hopeful because we feel a child’s natural inclination is to spend time outside.


Why is it important to you that your children grow up connected to nature?

Matthew Ward:

We feel it is important for our son's development to grow up with an understanding of the magic and wonder of the natural world. And we feel that this connection is essential to his well-being, society's well-being and the well-being of the natural world.


How does spending time outdoors impact your children?

Matthew Ward:

Spending time outside invigorates our son. It creates a space for imaginative play that develops his sense of self within a larger world. He has opportunities to explore, build forts, watch birds, ride a bike, follow animal tracks, catch frogs, climb trees. All of these activities provide an exciting, soothing and safe environment that encourages curiosity, imagination, and self-confidence.


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