Sunday, February 17, 2008

From CT

I grew up in Connecticut, and despite what some folks may think of this small state, there are fantastic places all across the state to get outdoors. The section of the Appalachian Trail is beautiful, there is a large and well developed network of state parks and forests, great ponds and lakes, world class paddling and fishing, fine nordic skiing (when there's snow), and finally, for me as a young adult, tons of great places to rock climb, with literally thousands of climbing routes.

Connecticut has an asset today in Gina McCarthy, who has emerged as a leader in the movement to connect kids with nature. The press in Connecticut has written about the topic recently, here's some of those stories:

From the Meriden paper.
This deserves a lot more investigation," said Tom Morrissey, the DEP's bureau chief for outdoor recreation, and a Meriden resident. "Over the last two generations we've seen a real change towards indoor play. When I was a kid, it was punishment to stay inside. Now, they don't know how to camp or hike long distances. They don't really know what to do when they're outside, and you don't see parents teaching their kids."
And some thoughts from the head of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association.
"No Child Left Inside" aims to get families back out into the parks and forests, and through two successful years of programs such as "Great Park Pursuit" — a game based loosely on the TV show "Amazing Race" that sends families to eight state parks following sets of clues — the initiative has been successful. "No Child Left Inside" has earned nationwide recognition and the "Great Park Pursuit" has spread across New England. Until now, though, the initiative had been unaccompanied by increases in funding.