Time outdoors makes kids happier, healthier and smarter.
Our policy framework is informed by key principles that define and inform our approach to state policy focused on youth outdoor engagement. High-quality state policy should be:
- Child-centered and focused on the whole child
- Family focused and multigenerational
- Equitable access for all
- Leverage multiple approaches
- Locally supported
- Culturally relevant
- Research based
Community Benefits of Youth Outdoor Policies
When kids spend more time outside, everyone benefits. Some of the outcomes associated with engaging youth in regular outdoor activities outdoors include:
Public Health and Wellness
When kids and their families spend more time outdoors, using the natural infrastructure that exists in every community, communities see meaningful, documented improvements to health and wellbeing.
Education and Workforce Development
Integrating outdoor education and environmental literacy into education and workforce development training creates new job opportunities and improves education and learning outcomes.
High quality nature-based programs support positive youth development and social emotional outcomes.
Economic Development and Conservation
Outdoor recreation and conservation provide direct economic benefits to local communities.
Policy Strategies for Advancing Youth Outdoor Engagement
State legislatures and other policy makers are passing laws and creating policies to enable, advance, establish, and fund youth outdoor engagement.