Dear Member of Congress:
As a diverse alliance of health, conservation, hunting and angling, park and recreation, youth and military family serving, community-based, faith-based and other organizations, we write to respectfully urge you to support the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act (H.R. XXXX / S. XXXX).
The Healthy Kids Outdoors Act will improve our children’s health, support economic growth and strengthen the future of conservation in America by reconnecting our children, youth and families with the natural world through innovative state strategies that connect communities with green spaces, provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and play, and engage the health community in educating parents and caregivers about the health benefits of time spent outdoors in nature.
In addition to incentivizing state strategies, this legislation will get kids active outdoors by directing the President to develop an inter-agency federal strategy and action plan to connect children, youth and families with the outdoors. The Healthy Kids Outdoors Act will also support research documenting the health and conservation benefits of active time spent in the natural world.
Children today spend less time outdoors than any generation in history, devoting just minutes a day on average in unstructured outdoor play while spending an average of seven and a half hours every day in front of electronic media. While this is a troubling trend for the future of conservation in America, our economy, the health of our children, the well-being of our communities, and even our nation’s military readiness are also at stake. In the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents, and instances of ADHD have increased. The childhood obesity epidemic’s impact on our health care system, coupled with declining sales of hunting licenses and waning visitation to public lands, will have an increasingly negative impact on our economy, especially on industries and regions that rely on outdoor recreation (a $646 billion annual industry) and tourism.
It is imperative to establish new incentives that incorporate comprehensive approaches to reconnecting our children with the natural world. We hope you will join us in supporting the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act. Should you have any questions about this letter, please have your staff contact Adeline Rolnick at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 797-6608. Thank you for considering this request.