Thursday, September 28, 2006

No Child Left Inside

The superintendent of Yellowstone National Park used that line when talking about the need to get kids outta the house and into nature.

Suzanne Lewis also talked about kids and "nature deficit syndrome."

“When I grew up in suburban Ohio, we played in the woods all day long,” Lewis said. “But today, a lot of kids aren’t comfortable in the outdoors. When you add computers, video games, TV and all those things, we’re absolutely producing a culture of children that don’t identify with the outdoors.”

Why should anyone care whether kids hike, camp, fish, birdwatch? Lewis and others believe a lack of interest in the outdoors among today’s children could spell bad news for national parks and the communities that depend on them. If these kids don't value nature now, who's to say they'll value it when they're adults? And if they don't value nature as adults, will they protect our wildlands or pave them over?

Read below for more on the general topic. Deb posted a notice earlier about the declining number of people camping in our parks. Good for solitude, but worrisome if you're concerned about funding for parks.

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