New Opportunity in Charlotte for Kids to Have Access to Nature
Do you ever feel like your kids spend too much time indoors? Looking for a way to peel your child’s eyes from the TV, their smartphone or the Internet and get them outside? It turns out that there might be new opportunity for Charlotte-area children to experience a little more fresh air come Spring 2012. The National Wildlife Federation and Scotts Miracle-Gro have teamed with the Charlotte Nature Museum to work towards transforming outdoor spaces into natural playgrounds in the greater Charlotte area. The effort comes with the intent of increasing space that provides children the opportunity to engage in unstructured play areas and reconnect with nature.
This nationwide campaign has set its sights on Charlotte with the creation of The Charlotte Natural Playscape. This area will be the first in a series of areas planned for use as Natural Play Areas. Scotts Miracle-Gro has extended financial and planning support and also has unveiled an interest in delivering a "how to" guide to local homeowners, working to instruct parents on how to transform and create natural play areas in their own backyard that help instill the value of nature and assist in teaching children about how natural environments can be just as fun as structured playgrounds.
Current statistics show that the average American spends approximately nine hours every day exposed to electronic media. Adversely, those same statistics show that the same person only spends four to seven minutes playing or interacting outside. These numbers have steadily increased over the past two decades, leading today’s children to be less social with a decreased awareness of the natural world or factors that impact or affect the environment.
In an October 10, 2011 press release detailing the objectives and goals of the natural play spaces in Charlotte, Jan Valentic, Senior Vice President of Regional Marketing for Scotts Miracle-Gro stated, "We need to cultivate the next generation of caretakers of nature – and where best to start in one’s own backyard?"
The National Wildlife Federation stresses that regular contact with nature helps children work through important developmental processes and aids in healthy living. The group is devoted to transforming playgrounds, schoolyards, childcare centers, museums, zoos and other child-centric ventures into areas that promote the natural environment, stimulate learning and create an opportunity for fun.
There is a lot of excitement over the unveiling of this natural playground, and ultimately, how it is going to impact the Charlotte area. To learn more about the venture and to find out more ways you get can your children involved in new discovery and learning opportunities, check out