Children are spending less time outdoors and less time enjoying free play. Children and families lead busy lives, with full schedules and little time for connecting to nature. Most kids spend more than the two-hour daily limit recommended by pediatricians viewing electronic screens. According to one study, kids spend more than 40 hours a week on their devices - more than a full-time job!
Why is this bad? Research is showing that the effects of being so “plugged in” include childhood obesity, nearsightedness, decreased family time, and lack of knowledge about the natural world around them. According to the Solutions Journal, young children can recognize over 1,000 corporate logos, but few can identify more than a handful of local plant or animal species.
Your local park, community center, school, library, or church may have greenspace that can provide a way to connect kids to nature. You can dedicate a space that kids can call their own and teach kids to care for their land to help children develop their sense of place and community. In addition, outdoor spaces serve as platforms for learning and exploration and can offer safe places to learn about our natural world.
How to become a Partner Park
Thanks for your interest in helping connect the youth in your community to our natural world.
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Identify a leader within your organization who will be a champion for engaging kids and nature.
- Identify a greenspace or a bit of nature that can be dedicated to young people in your community.
- Determine the types of activities that kids will engage in to learn to care for their land.
- Complete this form to notify us of your interest in establishing a children’s nature park at your location. We will review your information and contact you. Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org