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House encourages kids to participate in nature with resolution

House encourages kids to participate in nature with resolution

Dustin Hurst
March 24, 2010
Dustin Hurst
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March 24, 2010

Members of the House joined with members of the Senate in sending the message that they support activities that get youth away from electronic devices and out into nature and the outdoors.  Representatives voted Tuesday to approve Senate Concurrent Resolution 1113, which praises the work of the Children and Nature Network (C&NN) in raising awareness of outdoor activities for children.

According to the group's website, C&NN "was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working nationally and internationally to reconnect children with nature."  The group is specifically responsible for the "Be Outside - Idaho Children in Nature" initiative which urges children to connect to the outdoors.

The resolution first voices concerns about the current activities of Idaho's children.  The bill states that "a growing body of research indicates that children pay a high physical, mental and emotional price for inactivity resulting in increased childhood obesity, depression, inattentiveness, diminished creativity and ... ‘nature deficit disorder."  It adds that lawmakers find it "troubling" that "children spend on average seven and one half hours each day engaged in electronic media such as video games and television, and are spending half as much time outdoors as they did just 20 years ago."

The resolution commends the group for its efforts in battling the problems mentioned above.  From the text of the resolution:

We recognize the efforts of the Idaho Children and Nature Network for its success in generating awareness about the importance of encouraging Idaho children to find a sense of place, reconnect with nature and be outside with the initiative 'Be Outside Idaho Children in Nature' and we invite citizens to take advantage of the many opportunities our state offers for family outdoor recreational activities.

The measure was originally brought in the Senate by Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell.

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