Published on June 28th, 2009 | by Guest Contributor1
U.S. Forest Services Encourages Kids to Get Outdoors
According to the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, children in the U.S. spend fifty percent less time outdoors than they did twenty years ago.
There are a number of reasons why children are spending less time outdoors, including safety concerns and the development of new technologies that capture free time indoors. Many children are unaware of the benefits that nature provides, such as improving their physical and mental health and emotional well-being.
Research shows that children who play outside have lower stress levels and more active imaginations, become fitter and leaner, develop stronger immune systems and have greater respect for themselves and for others. Furthermore, those who spend their childhood in nature are more likely to become environmentally conscious in the future.
In an effort to encourage children and their parents to re-connect with nature, the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council have launched a national multimedia public service advertising (PSA) campaign.
“People, especially kids, need a direct connection to both forests and nature for their health and personal growth—and for the future of conservation,” said Chief Kimbellm, U.S. Forest Service Chief. “It’s wonderful to expand our efforts to reach kids through this partnership. The Ad Council has been helping us accomplish the Forest Service mission for over 60 years.”
The PSA’s direct parents and children to visit a new website, www.DiscoverTheForest.org, where they can find ideas for outdoor activities, as well as educational and conservation information. Additionally, families can access a new interactive tool, powered by Nature Find™ and Google Maps, where they can search for nearby forests and parks.