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Celebrate Great Outdoors Month, June 2017!
Answer the call of the WILD!
In June, 1998 there was Great Outdoors Week. By 2004 it had expanded to include the entire month of June. What does that mean exactly? It means the call of the wild is being answered! People are flocking to see the abundance of beauty encapsulating the commonwealth through Pennsylvania’s 119 state parks, 18 national parks and more. Great Outdoors Month provides the perfect opportunity to finally drop whatever you’re doing and get out there. From novice to naturalist, everyone can enjoy the benefits of even the simplest of activities. Stand outdoors. Absorb nature through the senses. Notice the change. The restoration to our minds and bodies has begun.
According to Pennsylvania’s proclamation, the month-long designation provides an opportunity for Pennsylvanians to celebrate the state’s natural splendor and renew our commitment to conserve air, water and land. It is an opportunity: to reconnect ourselves and our children to nature. To delight in the health benefits of outdoor recreation and enjoy memorable experiences with family and friends through activities such as biking, swimming, boating, hiking, hunting and fishing. To highlight the critical importance of conserving our natural resources and enhancing our legacy of environmental stewardship by protecting open space, restoring wildlife habitats, educating our youth about the environment, planting trees and maintaining recreational trails.
KIDS: The Great Impact of the Great Outdoors
Kids NEED a connection to the natural world.
- Outdoor play increases fitness levels and builds active, healthy bodies, an important strategy in helping the one in three American kids who are obese get fit.
- Spending time outside raises levels of Vitamin D, helping protect children from future bone problems, heart disease, diabetes and other health issues.
- Being out there improves distance vision and lowers the chance of nearsightedness.
- Exposure to natural settings may be widely effective in reducing ADHD symptoms.
- Schools with environmental education programs score higher on standardized tests in math, reading, writing and listening.
- Exposure to environment-based education significantly increases student performance on tests of their critical thinking skills.
- Children’s stress levels fall within minutes of seeing green spaces.
- Play protects children’s emotional development whereas loss of free time and a hurried lifestyle can contribute to anxiety and depression.
- Nature makes you nicer, enhancing social interactions, value for community and close relationships
Getting kids back outside is an important societal issue that affects children of all races and socio-economic levels throughout America. National Wildlife Federation encourages Americans to Be Out There™ for the health and wellbeing of our children. Be Out There galvanizes families and communities, corporations and partners, thought leaders and policy makers around solutions for addressing this indoor childhood epidemic.
For more information and/or to see the complete Mind, Body, Spirit Factsheet, visit www.nwf.org or www.BeOutThere.org.
The Gift of Nature …
… it patiently waits… quiet and capable, ready to restore and remind us what life is really all about. As May departs and June arrives with summer vacations, graduations and Father’s Day celebrations, make time to reconnect with nature. Take a hike, ride a bike or hop in a boat… choose the road less traveled or the path of least resistance… and may the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be at your back and may the sun shine warm upon your face.