ASLA Applauds Reintroduction of Healthy Kids Outdoors Act
U.S. Senator Mark Udall (CO) and Congressman Ron Kind (WI) have reintroduced the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act (HKOA), which aims to connect children, youth and family to their outdoor environment. The Healthy Kids Outdoors Act would bolster state, local, and federal strategies to reconnect Americans with nature, improve children’s health, and support future economic growth and conservation efforts.
The proposal also would create a national strategy to increase outdoor activity and, through coordination with federal and local partners, further identify the health, conservation and other benefits of spending time outdoors.
"The Healthy Kids Outdoors Act supports local initiatives across the United States to ensure our kids everywhere have access to outdoor recreational opportunities and they can reap the numerous benefits of an active lifestyle,” said Udall.
Congressman Kind echoed Senator Udall’s comments adding, “Young people today spend less time engaged in outdoor activity than any other generation in history, which takes a serious physical and mental toll on them at a critical time in their development.”
Research has revealed that outdoor play increases fitness levels and strengthens physical, mental and social health and well-being. The Health Kids Outdoors Act would compel the President to involve the appropriate federal agencies and national partners to support additional research that documents the health, conservation and other benefits associated with active time spend outdoors in our natural environment.
Landscape architects are committed to designing the built environment in a way that facilitates and encourages active lifestyles. Landscape architects plan and design outdoor recreation spaces of all sizes, from large parks with passive and active recreation spaces, transportation networks, including bicycle and pedestrian paths, and therapeutic and educational gardens.