News Center Items by Angela Hanscom
In a survey of 1,000 adults and 1,000 children between the ages of five and 16 in the UK, 44% of parents said their child spent less time enjoying nature than they did as children. As part of the survey, children were asked to identify a series of pictures of animals and plants. Results showed a lack of familiarity with species such as the finding that 83% of children did not know what a bumblebee looks like.
A study looking at children’s attitudes toward local wildlife surveyed 2,759 children across North Carolina. Researchers observed that children thought more favorably of faraway charismatic species, such as pandas and cheetahs, than local ones. Researchers also examined whether a child’s attitudes regarding nature were influenced by where the child lived and found that all children, regardless of their neighborhood, were equally disconnected from local wildlife.
According to a new University of Chicago-led study exploring how kids develop a relationship with the outdoors, children prefer urban environments much more than adults. The results suggest that a passion for nature might develop gradually throughout one’s life, rather than being inherent at birth or a young age.
Opening Schoolyards to the Public During Non-school Hours Could Increase Park Access for 20 Million People
Over 19.6 million Americans, including over five million children, could gain access to parks if school grounds were open to the public, according to a Trust for Public Land report. Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix and San Antonio would benefit the most, the report says. Public school districts are among the largest landowners in almost every city and town across the United States. There are approximately 100,000 public schools in the U.S., but only around ten percent of schools currently provide the general public with formal access to schoolyard sites.
The City of Montreal revealed plans to create the largest urban park in Canada. When the park is finished, it will be eight times larger than New York’s Central Park and 15 times bigger than the Mount Royal Park in downtown Montreal. Mayor Valérie Plante said the project is part of her administration’s plan to protect 10 percent of the city’s green spaces.
A survey of over 1000 UK parents found that nine out of 10 parents who were not close to a playground said that having access would make their child play outside more. Of those with access to a playground, 61 percent said it does make their child play outside more and over half of parents said more access to playgrounds would make their child more active. The survey was conducted by Mumsnet, the UK’s biggest website for parents.
In a new survey of British parents, over half reported that they do not think they are fit enough to play actively with their kids during summer holidays. The survey, commissioned by Argos, found that 65% of parents are worried they won’t keep up with their kids over the 6-week break, suffering from “fitness anxiety”.
A first of its kind 13-acre natural playground opened this week in Denver. The park was designed to promote nature play on a variety of levels including gross motor and active play as well as passive and exploratory play, which encourages users to slow the experiential pace and engage in a multi-sensory way. Planners first focused on educating the public on the benefits of nature play so they could could make informed decisions on proposed features within the park.