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Acknowledgments As with any book, this has been a collaborative effort, supported and enriched by the contributions of many. My deep gratitude to all the generous people who helped me along the way: First, to the early childhood educators who love, respect, and honor children, and who know that a “greener Earth” is possible through play and shared love for nature—I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for the work that you do. It is honorable work. Thanks to Kyra Ostendorf and the team at Redleaf Press for all the hand-holding and patient support as I fumbled through this process. To Heidi Hogg, thanks for your diligent fact-checking and researching. And to Emily Green, the editor and literary alchemist who turned this book from a disorganized heap into some- thing much, much better: your help was invaluable and I learned so much working with you. To the amazing women who make up my writ- ing group, this never would have happened without your encouragement and support over these years. Thank you for reading, and re-reading, sharing your photos, ideas, and stories, and offering so many helpful suggestions along the way. Thank you to my many friends and colleagues who shared inspiring pictures and activity ideas, especially Amy Blaubach of Curious Minds and my dear friend Tiffany Teske. Thanks to Anders Noren for help with the glossary. Thanks to the Children and Nature Network for suggestions, support, and cheerleading. Thanks to the Hennepin County Library System for always being there. Of course, many thanks to Richard Louv, David Sobel, and so many others who work tirelessly to build bonds between children and nature. Your work is a gift to future generations. To Mom and Dad, thanks for believing in me and always being willing to babysit your grandkids or look up random citation questions for me. Your support has meant the world to me. To Dominic, my love, thank you for supporting me in innumerable ways—from keeping my water glass full to cheerfully managing the household and entertaining our children while I wrote. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Most of all, boundless love and gratitude to my two greatest teachers: Lucy and Julian. I am con- stantly inspired and awed by you. It is my life’s great honor to be your mom. Thank you for being so patient while I worked on this book—I’m finally finished! Let’s go outside and play. xi