How do children come to know and care about the natural world? While many would suggest that little research has been done to address this question, others would point to the professional literature on such related topics as "significant life experiences" and "ecophobia" and say that we can learn a lot from this related research. One thing this related literature tells us is that positive place experiences play an important role in helping children learn about and appreciate the natural environment.
Presented in this article is a brief look at the professional literature relating to significant life experiences and ecophobia. Also presented are some possible implications and suggestions for environmental education, especially as provided through such nonformal education settings as nature centers and botanic gardens.