April 23, 2009

Be Outside

2009 marks the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. Dialogue offers suggestions for translating the spirit of the anniversary event into healthy activities that yield results year-round. Marcia Franklin talks with representatives of the Idaho Children in Nature Network about the group's initiative to inspire more kids to get outdoors.

Franklin's guests are Meggan Laxalt Mackey of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Dick Jordan, a teacher at Boise's Timberline High. Both represent the Idaho Children in Nature Network. They are joined by Melissa Webster, a student involved in Timberline's ecology club, and Tom Glass, also a student at Timberline.

Author Richard Louv coined the phrase "nature deficit disorder" to describe the increasing phenomenon of children playing indoors. Since then, initiatives have sprung up around the country to encourage more outdoor activity among youth.