New bill aims to get kids outside and healthy

May 21, 2014

Healthy kids needs healthy lands – The Wilderness Society

A new bill from Senator Mark Udall and Rep. Ron Kind aims to get kids (and their parents) back outside to improve their health and their connections to the great outdoors. 

The “Healthy Kids Outdoor Act” will encourage states and federal agencies to develop plans to get more kids outside – learning about nature and getting some exercise. The bill will also encourage new and rehabilitated parks, bike trails, and other green spaces for kids and families to enjoy.

“This is a great effort by Senator Udall and Congressman Kind,” said Paul Sanford, Senior Recreation Specialist for The Wilderness Society. “Today’s kids are tomorrow’s leaders, and we will need leaders that know the value of our parks, wildlife refuges, and forests. Healthy kids need healthy lands, so it’s important that we make sure there lots of wild places for people to enjoy. This bill focuses on both.”

Outdoor recreation – by kids and adults – is a huge economic driver in addition to leading to healthier lifestyles. Americans spend more than $646 billion getting outside to hike, camp, paddle, and participate in other outdoor activities every year.

“One of the biggest benefits of this bill is the emphasis on unstructured activities – sometimes, kids just need to be kids, and go exploring forests and creeks and other places in the great outdoors. It’s a great way to connect with nature, and we need healthy and vibrant wild lands to go to,” said Sanford.

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The Wilderness Society is the leading public-lands conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 500,000 members and supporters, TWS has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. www.wilderness.org

Paul Sanford
(202) 429-2615