The Metro Omaha Resources for Exploring Nature (MORE Nature) was started on Earth Day 2008. At this initial meeting there were representatives from over forty organizations in attendance. This large group formed the steering committee that is still in place today. That steering committee includes representatives from Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Hitchcock Nature Center, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha Children’s Museum, Green Hearts Nature Institute for Children, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha Public Schools, Bellevue Public Schools, Early Childhood Consortium of the Omaha Area, Educational Service Unit #3, the Omaha Association for Education of Young Children, and the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District.
Every year since it’s inception, MORE Nature has provided several community events including co-sponsoring the Richard Louv/Susan Linn conference on Radical Amazement, co-sponsoring with the Junior League of Omaha the GO! Play Adventure, sponsoring nature nights at Metro Area schools—each one having 300+ in attendance. In addition MORE Nature received a Nebraska Environmental Trust grant to develop a “Parent’s Guide to Nature Play”, and hosts Parent/Child workshops to help parents engage their children in the out-of-doors.
MORE Nature is just beginning and looking for input and support. There is a lot to be done in our community from city planning, parks and recreation, school administration, health professions, and the community at large to get Metro Omaha into the mindset that time and space for nature play is critical for individual and community development and growth.