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2013-03-21

TPWD urges taking kids outdoors

Courtesy TPWD

Some things never change. Kids belong outside, and pristine wilderness is not required. An adult nature lover is likely to say that a favorite childhood memory involves a backyard tree house or fishing in an irrigation canal.
Children need personal contact with nature and other living things - to feel the wind, smell leaves and wildflowers, take a close look at a bug, run their fingers over rocks.
But children ages 8-to-18 now spend an average of 7.5 hours a day, over 50 hours per week, connected to a television, computer, video games and other electronic media. This doesn't bode well for our kids or for the future of our natural environment! There's hope.
Help bring a kid to the outdoors. Treat yourself to a trip down Memory Lane in "Fifty Ways to Get Kids Hooked on the Outdoors" from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine and find simple ideas to get kids engaged in the outdoors.
Make the most of outdoor opportunities with six easy ways to instill love of the outdoors from "Dirty Nails and Goat Slobber," another great article from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.
Need a little more structure to get started? Try these great programs in state parks:
• Texas Outdoor Family - We provide the know-how. You bring the kids, food, bedding, and a sense of adventure. We provide the tent, cooking gear and everything else.
• Free Fishing - You never need a license to fish in state parks and some parks even loan out fishing equipment like a library loans books.
• Geocaching - Old-fashioned treasure hunting meets GPS technology to help you find hidden "caches" placed in state parks. Join the newest Geocache Challenge now and get the details on TPWD's website.
• Check the TPWD online calendar for walks, talks, hikes and more ways to spend time with outdoor experts.
Read more about the Texas Resource/Natural Environment Literacy Plan on TPWD's website.