Nature is nurture.
Childhood experiences outside spur lifelong wellbeing. Playing outside is good for physical health and also boosts concentration, lowers stress, improves social skills and even helps kids improve their performance at school. Research shows that when children explore the outdoors with their families, those experiences instill a deep sense of belonging to the natural world.
But too many U.S. children are nature deprived. The average kid spends less than 10 minutes outside each day and up to 44 hours per week in front of screens. At least 28 million children live without a quality park near their home. Combined with the grief and upheaval of the pandemic, it's no wonder that a mental health crisis has spread among America's youth. The healing power of time outside is as urgent as ever.
That's why we're joining the Outdoors Alliance for Kids in telling Congress to help every child get outside. Through critical policies like the Outdoors For All Act and Transit to Trails Act, we can ensure that more children have green spaces to play near home and can more easily travel with their families to our public lands. Meanwhile, full funding for the Every Kid Outdoors program can provide every U.S. 4th grader with free entry to our national parks and public lands with their families.