Join our Email List!





Grant Park beach

Nature Deficit Disorder: A Guide to a Cure

August 21, 2021  |  Topics: Articles

Text by Ed Carter

Photo essay by Eddee Daniel

Note: The primary cure for Nature Deficit Disorder is spending time outdoors. The photos that accompany this article are from parks and preserves all over southeast Wisconsin and examples of places you’ll find on our Find-a-Park map. The links in the captions will take you to the page on our map for more information.

~ Eddee

How Moms and Dads Can Cure Their Family’s Nature Deficit Disorder

There is plenty of chatter out there about why our kids are spending too much time inside and in front of screens. The unfortunate reality is that nature-deficit disorder is becoming an epidemic, and it’s affecting both children and adults. The following resources can help you better understand this problem and devise a cure for your family.

The beauty of open spaces. Wadewitz Nature Camp, Waterford

Nature-Deficit Disorder is a Real Thing

Limited time outside comes with significant health risks that can lead to long-term issues.

What Is Nature-Deficit Disorder?

Depressed Children? The Cause May Be a Nature-Deficit Disorder

11 Scientific Reasons You Should Be Spending More Time Outside

Discovering what’s in a pond. Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Bayside

Pick Up a Family Hobby

Connect with an outdoor-related hobby that everyone can enjoy and benefit from.

The Ultimate Guide to Camping with Kids

9 Tips for Better Family Travel

4 Tips When Mountain Biking With Your Child

Try These 20 STEM Outdoor Activities for Some Fun Learning

Canoeing the Milwaukee River. Lincoln Park, Milwaukee River Greenway, Glendale

Tips for Everyday Backyard Time

Look for ways to incorporate time spent outside every day.

How to Create an Outdoor Office Space

The Childhood Benefits of a Backyard Playground

A natural jungle gym. Urban Ecology Center, Riverside Park, Milwaukee River Greenway, Milwaukee

Join a Nature Center Near You

Year-round outdoor activities, educational opportunities and nature programming.

Mequon Nature Preserve, Ozaukee County

Pringle Nature Center, Kenosha County

Retzer Nature Center, Waukesha County

River Bend Nature Center, Racine County

Riveredge Nature Center, Ozaukee County

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Milwaukee County

Urban Ecology Center, Milwaukee County

Wehr Nature Center, Milwaukee County

Catching a tiny frog. Pringle Nature Center, Bristol
Catching a larger frog. Elm Grove Village Park, Elm Grove
Playing in a stick fort. Petrifying Springs Park, Kenosha
Riding the Bug Line Trail, Waukesha County
Cross-country skiing. Kern Park, Milwaukee River Greenway, Milwaukee
Exploring the Menomonee River. Hoyt Park, Menomonee River Parkway, Wauwatosa
Discovering glacial formations like kettles and eskers. Lac Lawrann Conservancy, West Bend
Playing beach football. Fox Brook Park, Brookfield
A beach for all seasons. Grant Park. South Milwaukee
A playground on a prairie. Mequon Nature Preserve. Mequon
Kayaking lessons on the Menomonee River. Urban Ecology Center, Three Bridges Park. Milwaukee
A walk on the boardwalk among the spring flowers. Cedarburg Bog State Natural Area, Saukville
Ice skating lessons on the lagoon. Urban Ecology Center, Washington Park, Milwaukee

Nature-deficit disorder is running rampant, but that doesn’t mean your hands are tied. Getting into the great outdoors is easy and good for you. Look for fun things your whole family can enjoy, do a little something each day, and health and happiness will be the result!

Whether your family likes to hike, bike, kayak, canoe, swim, fish, snowshoe, cross-country ski or simply explore, Southeast Wisconsin boasts many beautiful parks and ways to connect with nature. To find a park or to learn more about the natural beauty Southeast Wisconsin has to offer, subscribe to A Wealth of Nature.

Playing among the wildflowers. Monarch Trail, Milwaukee County Grounds, Wauwatosa

The text for this story was submitted to The Natural Realm by Ed Carter. Ed is a former financial planner who has worked with clients of all ages, backgrounds and incomes. About 10 years into his career, he saw a need for financial planners who specialize in helping individuals and families living with disabilities.

The photos are all by Eddee Daniel, project director of A Wealth of Nature and board member of Preserve Our Parks. The featured photo at the top is Grant Park Beach.

Mequon Nature Preserve, Pringle Nature Center, Retzer Nature Center (Waukesha County Parks), Riveredge Nature Center, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Urban Ecology Center, and Wehr Nature Center (Milwaukee County Parks) are all partner organizations with A Wealth of Nature.