Children & Nature Network International Conference brings 850+ international leaders working to connect children to nature to Vancouver April 18-21, 2017

VANCOUVER, BC—(Marketwired – April 18, 2017) – More than 850 leaders and activists from 22 countries are gathering today in Vancouver B.C. for the 2017 Children & Nature Network International Conference and Summit. This premier gathering of the children and nature movement, co–hosted by the Canadian Wildlife Federation, brings together the world's leading voices on creating a world in which all children benefit from nature in their daily lives.

Children around the world today spend as much as 90 per cent of their time indoors, and for the first time in human history, more people live in urban areas than in the country. This trend has serious implications for children's healthy development, and the health of natural places.

“Science increasingly tells us that time in nature has the power to make children healthier, happier and smarter,” says Sarah Milligan–Toffler. “We are thrilled to bring leaders, advocates and activists from many disciplines to explore programs, policies and promising practices for creating equitable access to high–quality natural places for children, families and communities around the world.”

“We are proud to co–host the Children & Nature Network in Vancouver, B.C., during Canada's 150th anniversary year,” says Rick Bates, CEO of the Canadian Wildlife Federation, one of Canada's oldest and largest conservation organizations. “Connecting new generations to the natural world is critical to the success of wildlife and habitat conservation and restoration efforts today and in the future.”

The conference will be held at the resort–style Westin Bayshore in downtown Vancouver, which was recently awarded a wildlife friendly habitat certification by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. “The Westin Bayshore, with its connections to Stanley Park and the care it takes to meet the habitat needs of wildlife, is the perfect setting for this conference,” says Bates.


What: Children & Nature Network International Conference and Summit

When: April 18–21, 2017

Where: The Westin Bayshore, 1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver, B.C., Canada


–Wed. April 19, 8am–5pm PT, Summit on Connecting to Nature in an Urban World

–Thur. April 20, 8am–5pm PT, Conference Day 1

–Fri. April 21, 8am–noon PT, Conference Day 2

Register: or on–site at The Westin Bayshore

  • Full conference registration: $385.00 | 1–day registration: $175.00

Featuring nine conference tracks, workshops, walkshops, action labs and keynote addresses from:

  • Richard Louv, co–founder of the Children & Nature Network and author of the best–selling book, Last Child in the Woods
  • Scott Sampson, President & CEO, Science World, Vancouver, and creator of the popular PBS show, Dinosaur Train, in which he plays “Dr. Scott”
  • Chloe Dragon Smith, Canadian Parks Council, Connecting a New Generation with Nature
  • Guillermo (Gil) Penalosa, internationally recognized urban planner and founder, 8–80 Cities
  • Additional presentations from nearly 200 experts from the public health, conservation, education, urban planning, recreation and government sectors; find full program information at cnc2017/schedule–of–events/

With special guest appearances from:

  • The Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
  • Ta'Kaiya Blaney, singer and environmental activist from Tla A'min Nation, B.C.

About the Children & Nature Network. The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) believes that time nature makes children healthier, happier and smarter. C&NN is US–based 501c3 non–profit organization working to connect children, families and communities to the natural world by investing in networks of diverse leaders, driving systems and policy change, and curating and broadcasting knowledge. Learn more at

About the Canadian Wildlife Federation. The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a Canadian not–for–profit charitable organization dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, carrying out research, developing and delivering education programs, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending changes to policy and co–operating with like–minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. For more information visit

Governor Announces Appointment to CalSTRS Board

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA—(Marketwired – April 18, 2017) – The California State Teachers' Retirement System today announced that Governor Brown has appointed Karen Yamamoto to the California State Teachers' Retirement Board. The board oversees the retirement benefits for California's prekindergarten–12 and community college educators covered under the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS).

Ms. Yamamoto is the retired members' representative appointed by the Governor to the 12–member board. The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

More information about Ms. Yamamoto's appointment is available on the Governor's website.

The California State Teachers' Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $202.8 billion as of March 31, 2017, is the largest educator–only pension fund in the world. CalSTRS administers a hybrid retirement system, consisting of traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plans. CalSTRS also provides disability and survivor benefits. CalSTRS serves California's more than 914,000 public school educators and their families from the state's 1,700 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts. Follow us on Twitter @CalSTRS