Group formed to identify outdoor opportunities for children
TOPEKA — The conveners of the Kansas Coalition for Children in Nature (KCCN) will meet Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Office of the Secretary, 1020 S. Kansas Ave. in Topeka. The meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. Topics of discussion will include results of working group meetings and establishing a process to create a report to the governor.

KCCN began when former Governor Kathleen Sebelius issued an executive order designed to create opportunities for children to get outside and experience nature. The organization includes representatives of public health, conservation, environmental education, recreation, agriculture, and business. KCCN is working with state agencies and other organizations to identify opportunities for Kansas children to spend more time playing and learning outdoors.

Research has shown that children who play outside are more active and more physically fit than those who do not. Time in nature improves a child's academic performance, concentration, balance, coordination, and self-esteem. Unfortunately, children today spend an average of more than six hours a day with electronic media, and the amount of time children spend outside has dropped by half in 20 years.