Our group just spent a fantastic weekend snowshoeing in Lake Louise! The weather was mild, the snow fluffy and perfect for skiing and snowshoeing. It is on weekends like this that I notice how good it is to be outside: sunshine, quietness, healthy food, fun with friends, my to-do list left behind in Calgary and the sweet exhaustion after a day-long workout in fresh air.
Nature Deficit Disorder
Last October, Ken Schmaltz from the Calgary Outdoor Recreation Association talked about Nature Deficit Disorder at our Sierra Speak Out! session. It is a phenomenon in children that don’t spend enough unstructured time outside. While many parents register their children in structured activities like soccer, hockey and swimming lessons their children do not get much time outside on their own. This video provides a good overview of nature deficit disorder and what we can do about it:
A study by the David Suzuki Foundation published last September shows that 70 per cent of Canadian youth between 13 and 20 years spend an hour or less outside each day. An American study by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that children aged 8 – 18 years spent an average of 7.5 hours per day in front of a screen.
”Getting outside as a family can help create a nature habit… we found that if youth spend time outside when they’re young, they’re 20 per cent more likely to take part in outdoor programs or to explore nature on their own when they’re older.” — Leanne Clare, Connecting Youth with Nature project, David Suzuki Foundation
The other week our summer staff went on a little field trip to the new Calgary Science Centre. We want to start creating interactive displays and games for when we have more public presence. We knew the Science Centre would have tons of great ideas on how to present information in a fun way. Although we may have gotten a little distracted by the water display, digital design centre and the discovery dome. A very fun and inspirational day nonetheless! Continue reading