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NEWS ITEMS


No Child Left Inside
Detail: The state of Connecticut seeks to address “Nature Deficit Disorder” that contributes to childhood obesity, behavioral conditions, and mental illnesses in children disconnected with nature. A new statewide initiative, called, “No Child Left Inside”, was launched by Gov. M. Jodi Rell on March 22, 2006, and is coordinated by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in an effort to build the next generation of environmental stewards. Current DEP partners include state agencies—Department of Public Health, Department of Education, Department of Children and Families, and Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. Other partner organizations include Connecticut Forest & Park Association, Friends of Connecticut State Parks, Connecticut Library Consortium, Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Education Association, Connecticut Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics.

With a prime focus on simple outdoor activities, “No Child Left Inside” seeks to showcase Connecticut’s state parks and forests through activities such as nature walks, scavenger hunts, and fishing. Several actvities are planned for the summer. ‘The Great Park Pursuit, The Connecticut State Parks Family Adventure’ will take families on a tour of state parks and forests. Participants will be eligible for prizes comprising of outdoor equipment. The contest is open to families – which must include one person 18 or over and one person under the age of 18. Clues to each activity in the contest will be available at the end of each week’s activity and on the campaign web site. Participants will receive points for each park they visit and activity they complete.

Additionally DEP will have 47 ‘Park and Forest Interpreters’ who will serve as guides to parks and run educational and recreational programs in both shoreline and inland recreational facilities. Other program elements include, issuing of state park passes at libraries; organizing a travelling exhibit—"Connecticut State Parks: Like Something Out of A Storybook", highlighting classic children's literature that relates to activities in Connecticut State Parks; organizing reading contests using summer reading material available at public libraries at state parks and forests where there are interpreters; and a statewide conference organized by Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Education Association called “No Child Left Inside”at Quinnipiac University, Hamden on March 31, 2006. The keynote was given by Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder."
Source: Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, www.nochildleftinside.org
Date: May 21 2006