Petition Closed
646
Supporters

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: http://kaboom.org/blog/play_haters_kids_cant_play_trees

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).

Letter to
Supervisor, Child Care Quality Assurance Inspections, Office of Licensing Jane Minnella
I was disturbed to hear about your office’s recent order to remove all tree branches under 7.5 feet at New Jersey’s Moorestown Children’s School. Children have been safely playing with and around these branches for 30 years, and have certainly proven themselves capable of safely guiding themselves away from the branches if need be. In addition, it's important to note that the playground is supervised and a responsible adult can always intervene should he or she observe any potential dangers.

Interacting with nature on a regular basis is absolutely vital for our children; failure to do so can result in a wide range of behavioral problems. 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 at Moorestown Children’s School. I urge you to reconsider your decision.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.