Loudoun Environmental Stewardship Alliance (LESA)
LESA is a voluntary coalition of individuals representing nonprofits, schools, governments and corporations with a common interest in environmental education and stewardship in Loudoun County, Virginia.
Formed in 2007, LESA serves the shared interests of its member organizations, promotes environmental programs and outdoor experiences in Loudoun County, and provides links to resources for environmental education and outdoor recreation. LESA members provide programs, sites and learning resources to children and adults.
LESA members believe that our nation’s future depends on the wise stewardship of the environment around us that comes from a personal connection to nature. Through environmental education, individuals can learn and understand the benefits to society as well as their own well being. Current studies reveal that there is an enormous environmental literacy gap that continues to increase and negatively impact the environment in which we live.
A recent study found that children today spend an average of 6 hours each day in front of the computer and TV, but less than 4 minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play. A back-to-nature movement to reconnect children with the outdoors is sweeping the nation. Richard Louv’s book “Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder” has been a catalyst for organizations nationwide to seek new ways to connect children with outdoor experiences. Research shows that getting kids out in nature increases their physical activity, reduces loneliness, depression and attention problems and is essential to their cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being.