October 17, 2019 | Melissa Gula, Manager of Family & Children’s Programs

Denver Botanic Gardens is proud to announce that on October 26 we will be hosting the third annual Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO) Summit. ECHO supports providing all young children with daily access to quality outdoor environments to encourage healthy growth and development. ECHO is a partnership between the National Wildlife Federation, North Carolina State's Natural Learning Initiative and the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance.

Today's traditional playgrounds often have stationary plastic equipment, rubber surfaces and few natural elements for children to engage with. The ECHO initiative encourages changes in traditional playground design to instead integrate natural elements and create nature play areas. These redesigned spaces connect children to the natural world and encourage active movement within the space. They encourage not only gross motor play opportunities but also provide opportunities for social/emotional development through cooperative play and language/cognitive development through discovery and exploration.

Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO) Summit

Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
To learn more and register, email echo@nwf.org.

Early childhood professionals from around the Denver metro area will come together at the Gardens to learn innovative ways to support curiosity and imagination through nature. During this one-day event:

  • They will discuss how small changes such as adding native plants to explore, stumps and logs to walk across, places to dig and get a little dirty, and quiet shady spots for children to sit and reflect can provide endless opportunity for the healthy development of young children.
  • Guests will hear from National Wildlife Federation Naturalist and TV personality Dave Mizejewski and Youth Outside CEO Kim Moore Bailey.
  • There will be a variety of breakout sessions led by industry professionals from Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Zoo, Butterfly Pavilion, Children's Museum of Denver and Think 360 Arts.

We invite child care providers, directors, coaches, child care health consultants, early childhood council staff, environmental educators, landscape designers and interested community members to attend the ECHO Summit.

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