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NWF: MA Kids-Please go Outside and Play

June 1, 2009

Concord, NH – School will soon be out for the summer, leaving most children looking for things to occupy their time. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is urging New Hampshire parents to encourage their kids to get out and explore the great outdoors, instead of allowing them to spend their days inside glued to the computer, TV or video game.

The NWF regional executive director for the Northeast, Curtis Fisher, says research shows that that over the past 20 years, the time kids spend outside has fallen by 50 percent.

"The time the average child spends plugged into electronic media every day has grown to more than six hours a day, so this is a significant issue across our society, and it affects everyone, in urban areas, suburban areas, and rural areas."

Fisher says that the Wildlife Federation has been working to raise awareness about the importance of children spending more time outside. He says it can be as simple as just getting outside and exploring nature, whether it's in their own back yards, or in the many parks throughout the state.

"Research indicates that kids that play outside are more physically active, more creative, less aggressive, and develop a lifelong appreciation of nature."

Outdoors groups are offering a variety of programs this summer that teach children about the joys of activities such as hiking, swimming, bird-watching, and fishing. A couple of places to get information on outdoor opportunities are New Hampshire Audubon at nhaudubon.org and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department at wildlife.state.nh.us

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - MA