America's Great Outdoors: Our Connection to Nature

child on beach

"It is OUR duty, for those of us already OUT THERE, to drag others with us to remember or discover the magic, and to feel our place in the cosmos!"
– Jeff Hoagland, Hopewell, NJ 

Today's children have less contact with nature than any generation in human history, spending on average 53 hours each week in front of a screen, watching television, surfing the internet, and playing video games, the equivalent of more than a full-time work week.  They are spending half as much time outdoors as children did just 20 years ago. 

Connecting children, youth and families to nature will require a multi-faceted approach. State and federal agencies will need to work with community partners across the fields of public health, parks, recreation, transportation, city planning, and education. Because the issue spans multiple disciplines, comprehensive state strategies are needed to coordinate and effectively implement all of the policy tools and partnerships available to federal and state governments.

NWF's America's Great Outdoors policy asks:  

  1. Congress must provide funding to states to promote state strategies to connect children, youth and families with the great outdoors.
  2. The administration must develop and implement a national, coordinated strategy to reconnect children, youth and families with the great outdoors.

"I've often heard that 'there's no place like home,' but for me the outdoors is my home. However, being outside can be rare because I live in an urban area that is not close to a lot of parks or forest areas. One of my favorite places is a local but well-hidden park that doesn't receive much public use unless you drive there yourself, or like me, take a bus and walk to get there. I enjoyed walking off the made path and over a small stream of water.  When I am there I call it my 'sanctuary' because I can take a moment to listen to my surroundings, and I can sit and meditate on my future."
– Lyndon Habersham Jr., Atlanta, GA


Learn More About Reconnecting With Nature:


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