Reduces Effects of NDD (Nature Deficit Disorder)
– In his best-selling book, The Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv brought national attention to NDD, referring to the negative impacts that occur when children don’t spend enough time doing outdoor activities.
Improves Social-Emotional Health – Spending time outdoors helps ease Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Activity, relieve stress, reduce depression, and improve self confidence.
Fights Childhood Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease – Overall obesity rates are 41% lower in young people who spend time enjoying outdoor recreation activities.
Nurturing Environmental Stewards
– Exposing students to natural resources like protected rivers, trails, and nature centers, builds their appreciation and respect for the environment.
Encouraging STEM Interests – Directly engaging students with nature and the outdoors stimulates an interest in the natural world that sparks the desire for a more intensive understanding of the spaces we inhabit.
Providing Career Pathways
– Many students are well qualified for summer employment opportunities with local park systems because of their experience and exposure with OAC.
Diversifying the Workforce – People of color are woefully underrepresented in careers in natural resource management. Building an appreciation for the outdoors is the first step in connecting students to future career opportunities in local, state, and national parks, recreation centers, and beyond.