FAIRFIELD -- The Connecticut Audubon Society says there won't be a next generation of nature lovers if the children of today continue to spend their days indoors.
Although there are more threatened bird species in the state than ever, the situation is serious enough for the society to devote its entire "Connecticut State of the Birds 2012" report to the problem of kids not connecting to nature.
"We find that children are spending less time outdoors, and their free time is really spent in highly structured activities," said Robert Martinez, president of the Connecticut Audubon Society. "They have very little opportunity for spontaneous interaction with the natural world."
Martinez said that just about all of those involved in conservation today and through history "developed a bond with nature" when they were children.
"That bond is a lifelong experience," he said. "If they don't forge that bond early enough, then where are we going to find the next generation of conservationists?"
Martinez made his remarks Friday at an unveiling of the 26-page report at the CAS center on Burr Street.
CAS senior director of science and conservation Milan Bull said that in the coming weeks and months, the society will stage a number of round-table discussions involving schools, Scouts and summer camps to address the problem of kids losing touch with nature.
Susan Frechette, state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection deputy commissioner, said that when she was a kid, she wandered "to her…
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