From a 5th grader, those words are quite a revelation. Statistically, youth 8-12 years old spend 6-8 hours per day on entertainment media and only 6-8 minutes in unstructured outdoor play. This amount of “screen time” and sedentary activity has led to increases in child obesity, inadequate physical activity, stress, sleep deprivation, and poor diet quality; in contrast, being outdoors in nature has proven to combat many of those ills. In fact, numerous studies have shown the benefits that time spent in the outdoors has to one’s health and well-being. For instance, psychologist, Roger Ulrich, has discovered that people have significantly lower heartbeat rates and higher alpha-wave amplitudes when viewing natural scenery.
Bowler and colleagues found that activities in a natural environment resulted in reduced negative emotions (e.g., anger, fatigue and sadness) as compared to similar activities in a human-made environment. Children with ADHD who regularly play in green settings have milder symptoms than children who play in built outdoor and indoor settings according to a study done by Faber Taylor with the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. And it’s been observed that children with better access to public parks and recreation programs are less likely to have significant increases in BMI (Body Mass Index) over time. As a result, when our children are withdrawn from the natural environment, they are deprived of the innate benefits it has to offer.
FREE NatureTrack field trips fill the school budget gap with ingenuity and wonder! We even cover the transportation costs.
NatureTrack is honored to have over
who dedicate their time, expertise and enthusiasm in a variety of ways. From administrative and logistical support to hospitality and field instruction, NatureTrack could not function without them. Below, are some of the naturalists you are likely to encounter on a NatureTrack adventure.
Volunteer Stories and Videos coming soon...
I hope that all of the teachers at my school will get their kids out into the woods with this program, as I am confident that it is precisely this type of experience that helps kids get excited about science and to cultivate a real respect and reverence for the natural world. This respect is key so that they are able to fulfil their responsibility as future stewards of our planet’s fragile resources and open spaces."
P.O. Box 953, Los Olivos, CA. 93441
NatureTrack Foundation – Executive Director
NatureTrack – Program Director