Save nature play in New Jersey!
  • Petitioned Jane Minnella

This petition was delivered to:

Supervisor, Child Care Quality Assurance Inspections, Office of Licensing
Jane Minnella

Save nature play in New Jersey!

    1. Petition by


School inspectors in New Jersey have ordered a rural child-care facility in Moorestown, N.J. to remove all tree branches below 7.5 feet from the school property because they may potentially injure children who run into or trip over them.

In her 30 years on the job, director Sue Maloney has never seen a child injured by these branches, and she feels that removing them would be “fundamentally changing a great place for children.”

Our increasingly litigious culture of fear has, in the words of acclaimed author Richard Louv, "scared children straight out of the woods and fields," resulting in sterile, risk-free play environments that harm our children’s development. In a day and age when the average child spends 7.5 hours in front of a screen, it is a travesty to further deprive children of opportunities for outdoor nature play by removing the tree branches.

Learn more:

Please ask Jane Minella, Supervisor of the Child Care Quality Assurance Inspections at the New Jersey Office of Licensing, to reconsider their demand.


Photo by theunquietlibrarian (cc).

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 500 signatures
    2. Are Trees Too Dangerous for Kids These Days?

      by KaBOOM!

      School inspectors have decided that a child care facility in Moorsetown, NJ is just too dangerous to let well enough alone. The danger is not in water quality or lax staff background checks. The threat can be found in the playground.

    3. by KaBOOM!

      member Leslie Gray writes, "We live in a time when an awareness for the value of all things natural is more important than ever. Teaching our children to fear tree and fields of bare dirt and grass is not helping to protect the natural world."

    4. Reached 250 signatures
    5. by KaBOOM!

      Wonderful comment from member Patricia Wilson: "As an Early Childhood Educator I see firsthand the benefits of natural play on a daily basis. I have trees, sand, and even water available for play and exploration for all the children in my learning center. There is nothing more beautiful or inspiring than a child at work in as natural an environment as possible."

    6. Reached 100 signatures
    7. Trees Too Dangerous? That's What New Jersey Child Care Inspectors Say

      by KaBOOM!

      Did you ever climb a tree as a kid? Pick up the little seed pods it scattered on the ground or pulled down a branch to see the new buds of spring about to open?
      You may not have realized it, but you were in terrible danger. Or so say New Jersey...

    8. Reached 5 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Jeremy Carlson LOUISVILLE, CO
      • over 3 years ago

      This sounds like an outstanding school, with an approach to experiencing nature which should be a model for other schools, rather than have its shining example be destroyed. If Ms. Minella is concerned about legal consequences, perhaps she should instead demand that all parents sign a waiver, "I understand that my child may encounter the real world at the Moorestown Childrens School, and that falling hurts, branches scratch, and life could be full of wonder."

      • over 3 years ago

      Leave the tree alone. How and the heck do you think most of us now that are signing these petitons grew up playing in trees and eating the fruit from it. Wake up stupid.

    • Kati Gilson OAK PARK, IL
      • over 3 years ago

      My kids aren't even allowed to go outside to enjoy what little nature we have. :(

    • Dee Withers CLUTE, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      I am just blown away. Don't let children play with tree branches...Children have played in and around trees for thousands of years. Who ever came up with this bit of research needs to get a real job.

      • over 3 years ago

      I object to Child Care Quality Assurance Inspectors. They are a waste of valuable resources and are damaging to the environment- physically and psychologically.

      I would like to see them get sacked, and use the money for better uses such as to plant more trees. The world would be a better place with fewer smug officious idiots with made up sounding job titles. GET A LIFE and a REAL JOB and stop meddling in other people's!!!


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