Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Get Back to Nature- Get Outside

When moving to NY, we spent a few weeks trying to find where outside the city to live. It was pretty easy to fall in love with Westchester county. We loved all of the trees and parks at our finger tips. For a family that spends so much time outside, it seemed like a smart choice for us.

The town of Bedford offers a class through the Recreation and Parks Department called the Wonders of the wild. The class is for parents and children to get together and spend time in nature at various regional parks. Being new to the area it seemed to make sense, I might meet other parents that enjoy being in nature with their little ones, and I might find a new park or two. The class starts next week, I'll keep you posted.

On the weekends, I found myself Googling parks and trails where we could take the kids and dog. As I was driving around I would keep my eyes open for trails I hadn't found yet. I thought I had found everything within 15 miles of our house, until I discovered this map and website. There are hiking trails only minutes from our house! How long might it have taken me to find it without this fabulous map?

Also included in the website is a great printable book on things to do in nature. I'm not certain I'll print in, but without a doubt, we will use it for suggestions before heading out when we need a little motivation.

The time U.S. children spend outdoors has declined 50% in the past 20 years, according to the Ad Council. The Forest Service is hoping to change this startling statistic through a PSA campaign entitled “Where the Other You Lives.” I can't wait for my older two to get home from school to show them this website and let them help me pick out what to do on our nature hike.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's another mom who thinks the way you do, and she's started kids unplugged http://www.kidsunplugged.org/

She does weekly nature walks throughout the county.