News Center Items by David Sobel
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on Wednesday temporarily waived National Park Service entrance fees to make it easier for people to get outdoors and “implement some social distancing.” The National Park Service says it’s adhering to the latest guidelines from the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vowing to keep outdoor spaces open while giving park superintendents the power to close or modify operations.
In Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service has raised concerns that people out walking in parks and elsewhere outdoors are failing to maintain advised social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.The parks service called on “individuals to avoid congregating closely in large groups, even in these outdoor areas,” and to maintain 6.5 feet between each person in walking groups.
Councilors in the Dutch city of Breda have launched a national campaign to give equal opportunities for outdoor play to children with disabilities. Breda is the latest Dutch city to raise the issue of an outdoor play provision for Dutch children. Over the next two years, the aim is to raise awareness of ‘play for everyone’ in the Netherlands, whether the child is able-bodied or disabled.
The 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety (Ministerial Conference) held in Stockholm, Sweden has called on countries to impose mandatory 20mph limits in urban areas to help cut deaths and injuries to pedestrians, including many children. Held in the final year of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, the conference brought government Ministers together to extend the 2020 target to reduce road deaths and serious injuries to 2030. The program has the support of dozens of countries worldwide.
A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) used social media and artificial intelligence (AI) to look at the connection between nature experiences and happiness. The team analyzed over 31,500 photographs across 185 countries on social media with the help of an automated image recognition technology, finding global evidence of the biophilia hypothesis, or of human’s innate tendency to seek connection with nature. The study was published in Scientific Reports.