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News Center Items by Bob Peart

Study Shows Kids Get More Exercise at School Than at Home

In a study of the activity level of grade 5 students at 60 schools in Canada, researchers found that on days with heavy precipitation, the students’ daily step count dropped by about 10 percent of their usual daily steps. Drops in activity levels were also associated with increased cloud cover and lower “feels-like” air temperatures. The effect was almost doubled on non-school days and was more pronounced for girls than boys.

UK Planning Systems ‘Neglecting Rights of Children’

A new report finds that planning systems in the UK are failing to consider the rights and needs of children, leading to detrimental effects on their health, wellbeing, and future prospects, with children from social housing reportedly being banned from communal play areas by developers. The research released by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) reveals that the past 50 years have seen a ‘drastic reduction’ in the use of outdoor spaces by children – as national policy has increasingly focused on economics rather than people.

The My City Too Report Lays out Recommendations for Outdoor Free Play in Toronto’s Public Spaces

8 80 Cities and EcoKids announce the launch of the My City Too report, laying out recommendations for reviving children’s independent mobility and outdoor free play in Toronto’s public spaces.  The My City Too Report brings attention to the impact our built environment has on the wellbeing of children in Toronto. The document is the culmination of a one-year research project to better understand why children’s independent mobility and outdoor free play is declining and offer solutions to revive and encourage children’s full participation in the public realm in Toronto.

More Trees Reduce Premature Deaths in Cities

City dwellers tend to live longer if they are in leafy neighborhoods, according to a study published on Wednesday that linked green areas to lower rates of premature death. The research study, which pulled data from nine other studies involving more than eight million people in seven countries from China to Canada, was the largest ever conducted on the subject.

$8M Makeover for Children’s Park in San Diego

The city of San Diego is moving ahead with an $8 million overhaul of Children’s Park. The renovation effort, which is expected to be finished in the summer of 2021, will replace an urban forest area that has been used primarily by homeless people with a number of family-friendly amenities intended to activate the entire space. The project will include amenities such as forest-themed playground equipment, space for vendors and a dog park.

New Tool to Advance State Policies to Get Kids Outside Launched

The newly launched Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook is a tool to help legislators and community leaders advance state policies to get kids outside. Highlighting existing and promising policy solutions, the website provides a platform for sharing and advancing new ideas, and connects cross-sector leaders working on statewide policy initiatives. Partners involved in the development of the Playbook include the Children & Nature Network, National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, North American Association for Environmental Education, Outdoors Alliance for Kids, and Meridian Institute.

PlayCore Announces New Green Schoolyards Resource for Planning and Design

The Growing Green Schoolyards Executive Summary is a new resource featuring initial research findings from a national survey and best practice design principles to continue the momentum in the green schoolyards movement. The resource was produced out of a collaborative partnership PlayCore and the Children & Nature Network, which joined forces to raise awareness and help scale the implementation of green schoolyards.

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