Get Outdoors Florida!

March 26, 2009

March 10, 2009It’s official! Getting outdoors is good for you

Gov. Charlie Crist and his Cabinet signed a resolution Mar. 24 encouraging families to Get Outdoors Florida!  The resolution recognizes the Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights and  promotes Get Outdoors Florida! activities April 4-5 and throughout the year.

When introducing the resolution Commissioner Charlie Bronson said, “Spending time outdoors is a healthy and emotionally satisfying experience for people of all ages, and is especially beneficial for our children, and allows them an enjoyable way to get physical exercise,  enhance mental and social development and gain an appreciation for Florida’s great array of  natural areas and diverse wildlife.”

Following the signing, a group of children were invited to an outdoors play station set up  at Cascades Park near the Korean Memorial Park in downtown Tallahassee to participate in  several nature-related activities hosted by the Get Outdoors Florida! coalition to demonstrate how outdoor activities can stimulate children’s imaginations and spirits (www.GetOutdoorsFlorida.com).

“Just being outside — it’s a gift that makes us all feel better!   Turn off the tube!  Shut down the computer!  Escape to the wonders of the natural beauty our state offers,” said Jeff Doran, a member of the Get Outdoors Florida! coalition.

Research shows the detrimental effects of reduced, unstructured outside play – the reality for many youths in today’s world. The negative side effects include obesity, Attention Deficit  Disorder, impaired social skills and higher stress levels (www.childrenandnature.org). Because  an array of social and medical issues are linked to society’s nature deficit, Get Outdoors  Florida! ambitiously aspires to be a champion of families, particularly children, enjoying the outdoors.

The Get Outdoors Florida! coalition is a partnership of land managers, government agencies, children’s advocates, health care professionals, public interest groups and other individuals formed in 2008. The group strives to engage families in outdoor experiences that will help them achieve healthier lifestyles and gain an appreciation of Florida’s natural resources.

“When we connect people with nature, we have the opportunity to enhance education, public health, child welfare, tourism, wildlife conservation and land management,” said Rodney  Barreto, chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, one of the  partners in the coalition. “Everyone wins.”

The Florida Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights proclaims that each Florida child has the  right to enjoy specific nature-based activities, such as swimming in a healthy lake, climbing a  tree, catching a fish or camping out under the stars.

For more information, to become a partner, make a donation or to find ideas for outdoor activities, visit the Get Outdoors Florida! Web site at:  http://www.GetOutdoorsFlorida.com.

1 Comment
    1. Please add us to your link as the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center is a nature education center built for the students of the Florida Panhandle with an exhibit hall, theater, labs, classrooms, hiking trails, inter-disciplinary curriculum. Grand Opening Date is set for September 12, 2009.

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