This is an incredible article about children needing to connect with the great outdoors, written by Paula Berube:
While admiring the capabilities of a Droid telephone recently it occurred to me how very different childhood and adolescent years are now compared to a generation or two ago. Children and teens today have the world literally at their fingertips through the use of the internet, laptops, blackberries, droids, iphones and the numerous other technological products out there. While the access to information can be an advantage and a good thing in many ways, it can be a huge disadvantage when it comes to children and nature. Children today have lost their connection with the great outdoors. We have a whole generation of children who may not choose to be stewards of our State and National Parks because they have no knowledge, experiences or empathy for them. This country is also facing a national health crisis that can manifest itself in largely preventable chronic diseases. In light of the growing concern for the lack of connectedness between children, teens, and whole families, with nature, and the health issues in our country, the SC State Park Service has joined forces with National Assoc. of State Park Directors in a national campaign known as Children In Nature. These organizations will work together to find a way to create a new generation of stewards, to unplug our children and reconnect them with nature and to improve the mental and physical health of our nation.
The physical and mental health of our nation has become such a priority that Doctors around the country have started handing out “park prescriptions” to patients. They have come to realize the importance of the outdoors for their patients and are now “medicating” their patients
with nature, in the form of detailed park trail locations, distances and recommended rates of exertion in addition to or sometimes in place of lab slips and prescriptions. Doctors are recommending their patients walk beaches and trails and wade in streams and tidepools in our National and State Parks. This