in the fall of 2016, thegreenrock.ca in collaboration with the Junior Forest Wardens NL launched a #playoutdoors awareness campaign to get people outdoors and start new Junior Forest Warden NL Clubs. Junior Forest Wardens, a family-based outdoor adventure group, has been active in NL since the 1940s. numerous families have reaped the benefits of outdoor together time over the years, but numbers have been declining since the 1980s.
nature deficit disorder: kids are spending less time outdoors
kids these days are spending more time on screens than outdoors and that’s causing problems to their health. there’s extensive research about Nature Deficit Disorder. conversely, spending time in nature for adults, and especially for children brings the mental and physical health benefits. children experience positive social, psychological, and spiritual impacts on their personal and cognitive development.
as a side effect of modern, busy and sedentary lifestyles in recent years our exposure to nature has diminished. within a generation, Canada has transitioned from a rural to an urban nation, with 80% of Canadians now living in cities. as a result of this transition, it is estimated that Canadians today spend on average 90% of their time indoors, which has lead to a variety of chronic health issues as a result of sedentary lifestyles
aside from the mental and physical health benefits, getting kids in nature can also have positive impacts on our environment and our communities. a study by the University of British Columbia, suggests that providing positive childhood experiences in nature, can help to develop care and awareness of the environment as adults.
the Junior Forest Wardens NL is dedicated to bringing families with school-aged children together to enjoy and learn about the natural environment. together thegreenrock.ca and JFW launched a successful campaign that delivered 10 community outreach events, reached out to 17 community organizations which engaged over 50 families in the St. John’s metro area and led to the start of two new JFW Clubs: the Wild Wanderers and the Rollin’ Capelin.
after all the success of the #playoutdoors thegreenrock.ca is working with JFW and other community partners to look into ways to expand the project this year. stay tuned!
update! #playoutdoors won a 2017 Pinnacle Award by the International Association of Business Communicators Newfoundland and Labrador! read all about it here
thegreenrock.ca is a not-for–profit company that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address the challenges facing our planet, our communities, and our lives. like us and share!