Encourage Youth to Reconnect with the Outdoors

Target: Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Sen. Thomas Harkin

Goal: Support the reconnection of youth with the outdoors in order to combat obesity and develop environmental awareness

Introduced in 2011, the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act supports state, local, and federal strategies that encourage youth to reconnect and engage with the outdoor world.  The act was introduced in response to our 13 million obese children and adolescents, and the increased time spent in front of the television.  Please sign this petition to support getting kids and families outside in an effort to foster a healthy and environmentally-conscious generation.

A 2010 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation reports children between the ages of 8-18 are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago.  On average, U.S. kids spend 7 hours and 38 minutes daily on entertainment media.  The Healthy Kids Outdoors Act supports reconnecting today’s youth with the outdoor environment by introducing activities to promote health, conservation, outdoor economies, and the future of our environment.

Not only would this act help to decrease obesity rates, but it is setting the foundation for a more responsible generation in the future.  In a 2006 study, Cornell researches found that participation in outdoor activities as a child leads to positive attitudes toward nature and environmentally-conscious behavior as an adult.  Without education, engagement, and understanding of the natural world, our children will loose sight of the eco-mind many have adapted.

Please sign this petition to support the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act and its mission to connect our media obsessed youth with the natural environment by supporting outdoor activities, wildlife agencies, and an increased awareness for tomorrow.


Dear Senator Harkin,

The Healthy Kids Outdoors Act has been introduced to your committee in an effort to address the staggering 13 million obese youth in America.  By supporting local, state and federal efforts to increase a child’s time outside, you are reconnecting children and families to the natural world, increasing environmentally conscious behaviors for the future, and jump-starting a struggling wildlife and tourism economy.

The average American child spends almost 8 hours each day in front of media entertainment.  As that time increases, the next generation will lack feelings of responsibility, conservation, and appreciation for the natural world.  It is imperative that we foster a relationship between today’s youth and the outdoor environment.  Please support the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act and promote healthy lifestyles and environmentally responsible behaviors for an eco-friendly future.


[Your Signature]

Photo Credit: Marc Shandro via flickr

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