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Kristen Peterson, founder and director of Butterfly Hill, holds Izzy the Iguana, one of the many animals the preschool will have in their classroom.

Reconnecting with nature

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Kristen Peterson of Alexandria can still remember building backyard forts and playing pick-up games of baseball with her neighbors 25 years ago. She remembers the long days outside and coming home so dirty that she left a ring of dirt in the bathtub.

But even with her own kids, she isn't seeing this anymore.

According to a 2004 study by F. Thomas Juster at the University of Michigan, children are spending half as much time outside today as they did 20 years ago.

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