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“Let’s Move Outside!” Picking Up Steam at White House
Yesterday I attended the White House physical activity briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. I was joined by about 100 others who are also working to support physical activity, a key pillar of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative.
I was thrilled to see the traction that we are gaining by emphasizing the importance of active, outdoor recreation and play as part of the solution.
In addition to NWF and sports leagues, health associations and physical education groups, more than 20 representatives from outdoor groups attended, including: REI, The North Face, Outdoor Afro, American Hiking Society, American Recreation Coalition, City Parks Alliance, Ducks Unlimited, Freedom to Roam, Freshwater Conservation Initiative, National Environmental Education Foundation, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Sierra Club, National Park Service, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, National Association of State Park Directors, National Park Foundation, and National Park Trust.
Robin Schepper, Executive Director of Let’s Move!, highlighted Let’s Move Outside! in her opening remarks. Schepper spoke about the importance of building and revitalizing green spaces and play grounds in communities, and providing transportation services to play spaces and outdoor venues. Throughout the briefing, we discussed barriers and brainstormed about action steps needed to address obstacles to getting kids more physically active throughout the day, inside and outside.
2010 has been an amazing year for the advancement of policy that reconnects children, youth and families with nature. Successes include:
- The First Lady’s launch of Let’s Move Outside!
- Barack Obama’s focus on reconnecting Americans with nature with the presidential America’s Great Outdoors initiative.
- Rep. Ron Kind’s introduction of the Moving Outdoors in Nature Act
- Record number of co-sponsors for the No Child Left Inside Act and other environmental education bills.
Sign up to receive our policy bulletin newsletter for monthly updates on reconnecting with nature in 2011 at www.beoutthere.org/policy. You can also follow me on Twitter @PatrickNWF.
Official White House Photo credit: Samantha Appleton.