ASLA Statement on the California Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights


The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) applauds the California Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, created to encourage California's children to participate in outdoor activities and discover their environmental heritage.

Numerous studies have shown that children who participate in outdoor activities are healthier, do better in school, have better social skills and self-image, and lead more fulfilled lives. The California Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights aims to have all children, before their 14th birthday, to have the opportunity to experience each of the 10 activities listed within it. The list of goals to accomplish in the California Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights includes:

                        Play in a Safe Place                          Explore Nature

                        Learn to Swim                                  Go Fishing

                        Follow a Trail                                    Camp Under the Stars

                        Ride a Bike                                        Go Boating

                        Connect with the Past                     Plant a Seed

The U.S. Forest Service’s top forester on the West Coast, Pacific Southwest Region Forester Randy Moore, signed a proclamation in late September 2013 endorsing the California Children’s Bill of Rights stating, “Providing our youth every opportunity to develop strong connections to the land will help teach them essential values that will contribute to healthy lifestyles.”

ASLA also commends the efforts of Richard Louv's book "Last Child Left In The Woods," an inspiration for the creation of the California Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, along with policy initiatives that encourage outdoor activity and reengagement with nature, such as the Health Kids Outdoors Act. Additionally, ASLA supports currently pending pieces of legislation that makes environmental education a national policy, as outlined by the No Child Left Inside Act, and the Community Parks Revitalization Act, which assists with the construction and rehabilitation of urban parks and recreational facilities across the United States.  

“The California Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights is a great example all states can use to urge our nation’s youth to engage themselves in outdoor activities and discover the natural treasures hidden within their surroundings,” said Nancy C. Somerville, Hon. ASLA, Executive Vice President of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Somerville added, “Landscape architects believe that California’s efforts can lead to the recognition of a National Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights and show why it is important for states and the federal government to invest in parks and recreation areas across America.”

ASLA actively encourages communities to create or improve access to places that enable physical activity, including parks, recreational facilities, bicycle paths, walking trails and sidewalks. Click HERE for more information on ASLA’s efforts to promote outdoor activity and environmental education.

About ASLA

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 76 student chapters. The Society's mission is to lead, to educate and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. Members of the Society use the "ASLA" suffix after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Learn more at


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