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Growing Up Wild In Michigan

Conservation Coordinator Rebecca Hagerman

A global survey of parents and kids reveals that nature is not just "something to do," it is a crucial part of growth. We asked some of our staff who are also parents to weigh in on the importance of "growing up wild."

What do you do for The Nature Conservancy?

Rebecca Hagerman:

I am a Conservation Project Coordinator. I work on a variety of project teams offering logistical and administrative support to the Project Manager and Core Team members. The projects I am assigned to support occur in Michigan and throughout the Great Lakes. The project teams I work with are tackling topics related to priority initiatives including Basin-Wide Science, Native Fisheries Restoration, Watershed Connectivity, and Northern Forests.

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

Rebecca Hagerman:

People should be concerned! More and more people are becoming disconnected from the natural world. They don’t understand natural process, scientific ideas, or even where their food comes from. More people need to turn off the electronic devices and get outdoors.

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

Rebecca Hagerman:

I want my girls to be well rounded and to understand and respect the world in which they live. This includes the natural world. I hope they will grow to understand the connection between all living things and the interdependencies between people and nature – their very lives depend on it.

How does spending time outdoors impact your children?

Rebecca Hagerman:

My girls love being outdoors, whether that is in the backyard, at the park, camping out, or doing a triathlon (both my girls have completed one!). There is so much to see, explore, and discover. Being outside helps them be healthy and active as well. Our family decided about a year ago to cancel our cable subscription. We now only have access to a handful of TV channels which means we are spending a lot less time in front of the screen and a lot more time doing other activities including spending time outside. Most often when we are spending time outdoors, we are doing that as a family, therefore we are having more quality time together.

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