THE BENEFITS OF SPENDING TIME OUTDOORS ARE WELL KNOWN. Outdoor time promotes physical and mental health, relieves stress and anxiety, and improves social skills. We also know that time in nature is particularly important for youth development and wellbeing. Yet young people in the U.S. spend an alarming 90% of their time indoors. While the fields of outdoor and environmental education have been striving to meet this need and help reverse this trend, the reality is that for many youth, the problem is compounded by systemic barriers. Access to programs varies by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. For example, the Outdoor Foundation reports that 70% of outdoor recreation participants are white.
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