Wed, 21 March 2007
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has abundant outdoor recreational resources for hunting, fishing, skiing, bicycling, hiking, walking, climbing, boating, just to name a few. Not only do these outdoor resources help to keep us healthy, they keep our local economies strong. Protecting these resources makes good sense from a health and economic perspective, but it's also part of celebrating our love for the mountains, rivers, streams, forests, and parks of Pennsylvania.
PennFuture's Jan Jarrett recently attended the Governor's Outdoor Conference, "Preserving Past Traditions, Creating New Connections," where she connected with the Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Michael DiBerardinis, and discussed the focus of the conference this year.
There is a need and an effort afoot, beginning in part at this conference, for Pennsylvanians to re-engage in outdoor recreational activities. Studies show, for example, that the average child in the United States today spends an average of six hours per day watching television or playing video games, or sitting at a computer. That is twice the amount of time children spend in school in a given year! At the same time, studies have found that the vast majority of children (60-80 percent, depending upon age) have no opportunities for outdoor play in their normal routine. Adults are staying indoors, too. In recent years, Pennsylvania has had up to a 20 percent decline in visitation to our 117 state parks, and purchases of hunting and fishing licenses have also been dropping.
Listen in to the conversation as Jan and Secretary DiBerardinis discuss strategies toward the effort to get people off the couch and into the outdoors.
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