From Screen Time to Green Time: How to mitigate pandemic screen overuse by getting kids outside

Access to nature is a critical part of children’s development. But now more than ever, screens have displaced children’s play outside, especially during the pandemic. How can we transform their screen time into green time?

This Action Network Live! event invites educators, advocates, professionals, and families to discover the importance of getting children of all ages outside. Our featured guests, author and expert Richard Louv of Children & Nature Network, José González of Latino Outdoors, and Sharon Danks of Green Schoolyards, offer practical advice for working with school districts, legislators, and family support organizations to promote equitable access to outdoor play in rural, suburban, and urban spaces. They address questions about safety, academic learning, mental health, and more, leaving us all with the inspiration to go green (with fewer screens)!


Richard Louv is a journalist and author of ten books, including Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, The Nature Principle, Vitamin N, and Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives — and Save Theirs. He is co-founder and chair emeritus of the nonprofit Children & Nature Network, which supports a new nature movement. In 2008, he was awarded the Audubon Medal, presented by the National Audubon Society. Among other awards, Louv is also the recipient of the Cox Award for 2007, Clemson University’s highest honor, for “sustained achievement in public service.”

José González is the founder and director emeritus of Latino Outdoors, a non-profit that connects and engages Latinx communities in the outdoors. He is an experienced educator as a K-12 public education teacher, environmental education advisor, outdoor education instructor and coordinator, and university adjunct faculty. As a Partner in the Avarna Group and through his own consulting, his work focuses on Equity & Inclusion frameworks and practices in the environmental, outdoor, and conservation fields. His commentary on diversity and environmental/outdoor equity has been featured by High Country News, Outside Magazine, Earth Island Journal, and Latino USA, among others. He is also an illustrator, poet, and science communicator.

Environmental city planner Sharon Danks is the Founder and Executive Director of Green Schoolyards America, a national nonprofit based in Berkeley, California. An accomplished schoolyard designer, researcher and speaker, Sharon has traveled the world to study hundreds of school grounds and share best practices. She is the author of “Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation” and co-founder of the International School Grounds Alliance and Bay Tree Design. She holds master’s degrees in landscape architecture and city planning from UC Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University.