National Wildlife Federation Announces 2012 Hike & Seek™ Program Changing the Nature of Childhood

RESTON, Va., Sept. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America's largest conservation organization, announces the third annual Hike & Seek™ program.  Hike & Seek is a series of fundraising events that inspires a child's sense of adventure by combining a nature hike and scavenger hunt. It brings children and adults together for a few hours in the great outdoors for some fresh fall air and fun and provides an opportunity to rediscover nature. 

It doesn't require advance preparation; just sign up at www.hikeandseek.org and then show up ready for a great nature experience.  The one to two mile go-at-your-own-pace hike has interactive "Stop & Study" stations with engaging learning activities including nature crafts, live wildlife displays, and much more. Every participant is given a Map & Mission Guidebook to direct their path and will receive an Honorary Junior Naturalist badge at the end of the hike.  The events are being held:

September 29, 2012 (12 p.m.3 p.m.): Bemis Woods South in Western Springs, IL
September 29, 2012 (9 a.m. – noon): South Platte Park in Littleton, CO
October 13, 2012 (9 a.m. – noon): Seward Park in Seattle, WA
October 13, 2012 (9 a.m. – noon): NJ Audubon Scherman-Hoffman Center in Bernardsville, NJ
October 20, 2012 (9 a.m. – noon): Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, MD
October 27, 2012 (9 a.m. – noon): Piedmont Park in Atlanta, GA

Hike & Seek is part of NWF's Be Out There movement to get kids outdoors where they can connect with nature, run and play, and just be kids.

"With so much emphasis on electronic media these days, the nature of childhood has changed and there's not much nature in it," said Meri-Margaret Deoudes, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Special Events. "Hike & Seek is an opportunity for parents to show their kids why it's called the great outdoors."

Fast Facts About Outdoor Time and Children*

  • Children are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago.  
  • Today, kids 8-18 years old devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes using entertainment media in a typical day (more than 53 hours a week).  
  • In a typical week, only 6% of children ages 9-13 play outside on their own.  
  • Children who play outside are more physically active, more creative in their play, less aggressive and show better concentration.  
  • Sixty minutes of daily unstructured free play is essential to children's physical and mental health.
  • The most direct route to caring for the environment as an adult is participating in "wild nature activities" before the age of 11.

With the changing landscape of childhood, NWF is putting an increased focus on finding new ways to connect children with nature. NWF is committed to reversing this trend and encouraging 10 million more kids to get a healthy dose of outdoor fun.   

About National Wildlife Federation
National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization protecting wildlife for our children's future. NWF's Be Out There movement (www.beoutthere.org)  reconnects families with the outdoors by providing practical ideas and activities that make being outside a fun, healthy and automatic part of everyday life for American families.  

*For sources on Fast Facts check out http://www.nwf.org/Get-Outside/Be-Out-There/Why-Be-Out-There.aspx

SOURCE National Wildlife Federation



RELATED LINKS
http://www.hikeandseek.org
http://www.beoutthere.org

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