Support Legislation to Get Kids Outdoors

Last week the State Legislature successfully passed Assembly Bill 2534 and Assembly Bill 2614. These important bills are solutions to ensuring all Californians who reflect the diversity of the state are experiencing state parks, creating pathways for California's youth to the outdoors.

California is home to some of the most unique and world-famous natural resources and state and national parks that draw thousands of tourists annually. Yet many California residents have not experienced these treasures in their own state. For many families, lack of reliable transportation and lack of knowledge about programs and services that are available at parks and open spaces are overwhelming barriers.

To compound the problem, rising generations spend more and more time indoors, on average playing freely outside for just four to seven minutes a day, according to the recent report The Path Ahead. Additional research shows that youth spend half as much time outside today as youth did 20 years ago. Additionally, 40% of U.S. School Districts have eliminated recess, and outdoor education programs and field trips have declined significantly over the years.

As a result, today’s youth have considerably less access and exposure to the benefits parks offer. Lack of time spent outdoors is linked to issues such as anxiety, childhood obesity, academic underperformance and even bullying. Positive park experiences can play an essential role for health, happiness and quality of life. Studies have shown that underserved youth who participate in outdoor environmental education programs exhibit increases in science test scores, improvements in conflict resolution and problem solving, self-esteem, and learning motivation.

When youth have meaningful and transformative experiences in parks, they become the next generation of empowered park stewards who will protect and enhance our parks.

Let's show Governor Brown how much Californians support their parks and connecting California’s youth to the outdoors!

For more information or questions, please contact advocacy@calparks.org or call our Sacramento office at 916-442-2119. 

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Support Legislation to Get Kids Outdoors

Dear [Decision Maker],

I'm writing to support and request your signature on Assembly Bill (AB) 2534 (Limón) and Assembly Bill (AB) 2614 (Carrillo). These important bills foster pathways to parks for Californians.

As you know, unfortunately not all Californians who reflect the diversity of the state are experiencing and visiting state parks. This is especially true of rising generations who spend more and more time indoors. At a national level, children spend less time outside than prison inmates, on average playing freely outside for just four to seven minutes a day, according to the recent report The Path Ahead. Additional research shows that youth spend spending half as much time outside today as youth did 20 years ago. Additionally, 40% of U.S. School Districts have eliminated recess, and outdoor education programs and field trips have declined significantly over the years.

California is home to some of the most unique and world-famous natural resources and state and national parks that draw thousands of tourists annually. Yet many California residents have not experienced these treasures in their own state. For many families, lack of reliable transportation and lack of knowledge about programs and services that are available at parks and open spaces are overwhelming barriers. The legislation is an important step toward beginning to address these barriers.

Outdoor experiences provide a number of positive outcomes and benefits. Park experiences are essential for health, happiness and quality of life and by ensuring all youth the opportunity to experience parklands, we foster the next generation of empowered parks stewards who, in return, have an appreciation for the significant benefits of parks.

With your support, all Californians will be able to enjoy the natural resources and cultural treasures in our state parks. Please continue your leadership for our state parks and sign AB 2534 and AB 2614.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]

California State Parks Foundation

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