Thanks for stopping by to check things out. I'll get things started with a few quotes about the importance of open space:
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."
— John Muir
More wilderness quotes at The Wilderness Society, of course.
Importance of various forms of nature for children:
"For children, nature comes in many forms. A newborn calf; a pet that lives and dies; a worn path through the woods; a fort nested in stinging nettles; a damp, mysterious edge of a vacant lot—whatever shape nature takes, it offers each child an older, larger world separate from parents. Unlike television, nature does not steal time; it amplifies it. Nature offers healing for a child living in a destructive family or neighborhood. It serves as a blank slate upon which a child draws and reinterprets the culture's fantasies. Nature inspires creativity in a child by demanding visualization and the full use of the senses. Given a chance, a child will bring the confusion of the world to the woods, wash it in the creek, turn it over to see what lives on the unseen side of that confusion. Nature can frighten a child, too, and this fright serves a purpose. In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy, and privacy: a place distant from the adult world, a separate peace." — Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods