Michael, his wife, and two children live
in Portland, OR (as of June 2019) in Kelseyville, CA. As a family, they believe that kids live healthier and more-fulfilled lives when they spend more time playing outside and exploring in nature than with video games or plastic toys. Michael is a stay-at-home dad and historian. He used to blog at Exploring Portland’s Natural Areas, and founded the Facebook group PDX Kids in Nature. His idea for the Children at Nature Play sign stemmed from his passion for promoting nature connection for children.
The Children at Nature Play is a street sign used to raise awareness about the importance of connecting children to nature. The sign shows the silhouette of a young child exploring in nature, full of wonder while observing a salamander (or lizard). Playing off of the standard Slow: Children at Play signs often seen in neighborhoods or near parks, which request of their viewers to slow down their approaching vehicle, the “Slow” in our sign seeks to urge its viewers to “Slow” down their minds and busy schedules, and take notice of the joy and wonder that children exhibit when playing in nature. “Nature Play” is a common phrase in the children and nature movement, and represents a growing trend toward unstructured, natural play for children.
The sign is intended to be displayed in neighborhoods, at trailheads, nature parks and centers, zoos, gardens, aquariums, schools, etc., essentially any place where children explore, play, and learn about nature (or any place where you think that should happen).