National Public Lands Day (NPLD), the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22 in 2018. NPLD is also a “fee-free day”—entrance fees are waived at national parks and other public lands.
News Center Items by Mike Lanza
London will close around 50 streets to traffic this Saturday (September 22nd) to mark World Car Free Day, the even intends to encourage residents to reclaim the city streets for play and gatherings. London Play, the organization that works to give children the freedom to play by shutting roads to traffic, is leading the event.
London Play helps residents to organize Play Streets, where roads are closed to traffic a few hours once a week or month to provide a safe space for children to play outside with their friends. Play Streets also encourage a sense of community by giving neighbors the opportunity to meet.
A new study has found a link between teenagers’ frequent use of digital media and symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The research group consisted of over 2,000 high school students from Los Angeles County who did not have symptoms of ADHD and was the largest and longest study on the topic. One of the strengths of the study is that it includes teens from a range of backgrounds as sociodemographic diversity had been a limitation of prior studies on digital media.
A new study has looked at the impact on families caused by a shift away from free play outdoors to screen time indoors. The study results indicate that most families have lost the balance at home, and spend a significant amount of time arguing over screens. Among the results of the study is the finding that families are dealing with screen overload at home with the average household owning 15 tech devices.
PlayCore has joined forces with the Children & Nature Network to raise awareness and help scale the implementation of green schoolyards. Studies have proven that children’s exposure to nature is beneficial in a variety of meaningful ways. Collectively, this body of research shows that children’s academic, social, psychological, cognitive, and physical health is positively impacted when they have daily exposure to nature.
This week, members of the US Congress passed The Every Kid Outdoors Act. The bill authorizes the Department of the Interior, U.S. Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Army Corps of Engineers, to administer a pass program to provide free entry for fourth graders and their families to visit our national public lands, waters, and shores. The companion bill in the Senate is sponsored by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN).
The prevalence of forest schools in Denmark continues to grow, with one in 10 Danish preschools now held outdoors. The country has become such a leader in the forest school movement, that educators visit Denmark from all over the world to learn about the forest school model.
The Discover the Forest campaign, headed by the US Forest Service and Ad Council, is kicking off with the goal of inspiring children to develop an early interest in nature through their local National Forests and trails. The campaign hopes to expose families to the health benefits of being in nature, as well as encourage a lifelong connection to nature.
A new law in France prohibits students of ages three to 15 from using smartphones on school grounds with a few exceptions. Lawmakers hope the ban will remove distractions during class and encourage students to play outside as well.