naturerocksNature Rocks introduces its 2009 Summer Nature Staycation Planning Guide with the goal of empowering parents in their efforts to introduce more outside play to their kids summer vacation. Available at, this free Guide provides parents with information and tools to enjoy a no- or low-cost summer vacation at or close to home.

“The benefits of nature for children are fundamental. We have seen tremendous growth in the movement to get children back outside, as parents realize these benefits for their children, and themselves, and spread the word,” said Richard Louv, co-founder of The Children & Nature Network and author of the best-seller Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. “And, as families look for lower cost vacation options, we hope they will discover that nature offers them a personal stimulus package – the joy and cost-effectiveness of summer getaways in nearby nature – saving money while improving the physical and emotional well-being of their children.”

Nature Rocks: A family enjoys some bonding time outside

“Nature Rocks really speaks to our passion of getting families to recreate together outside,” said Sally Jewell, president and CEO of Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI). “By combining efforts with the other organizations behind Nature Rocks, we’re able to make a difference and improve the lifestyles of American families by making it easy and fun to get moving and get outdoors.”

The Nature Rocks website has a vast array of information available with just a few clicks. The activity finder allows you to choose the amount of time you’d like to spend, how far you’d like to go, and who’ll be participating.   The backyard family activities we found were a a fabulous array of games and discoveries that can be done without leaving home and without a lot of preparation.

“As a working mom with two young children, I appreciate useful ideas that improve my and my family’s lives,” said Meighen Speiser, Vice President of Marketing for ecoAmerica. “Like all parents, I want what is best for my kids. We enjoy fun and relaxing quality time together. The Nature Rocks website offers loads of easy-to-use tools, tips and over 100 fun activities like nature art, weekend camping, hiking at a nearby park or an impromptu neighborhood nature scavenger hunt. The added bonus is that these activities are either inexpensive or free.”

Nature Rocks is a partnership between the Nature Conservancy, REI, the Children & Nature Network (C&NN), and ecoAmerica. The site is free to use and includes extras such as an Eagle Cam, tips for children on nature photography, e-cards, and more.

About The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is the world’s leading conservation organization working in all 50 states and more than 30 countries to protect ecologically important lands and waters for people and nature. The Conservancy has the support of 1-million+ members and has protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide.

About REI

REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality outdoor equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.

About The Children & Nature Network

The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working to reconnect children with nature. The network provides a critical link between researchers and individuals, educators and organizations dedicated to children’s health and well-being. C&NN also promotes fundamental institutional change and provides resources for sharing information, strategic initiatives and success stories.

Nature Rocks: No matter what the activity, spending time outdoors leads to enrichment

About ecoAmerica

ecoAmerica is a nonprofit environmental agency that establishes strategic partnerships with corporations, NGOs and government and develops large-scale, innovative engagement marketing programs focused on moving mainstream Americans closer to the environment, focusing on people rather than issues.

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