Here you will find numerous links related to the importance of getting Outdoors--from just goofing off and having fun, to improving your health, benefiting conservation efforts, and enhancing your local community.
External Links (open in new windows) to sites dedicated to the Back to Nature concept of reconnecting youth and families with nature for fun, health and societal benefits. See the Partner page for links to partner Web sites and programs, and the Activity Tips page for how to and where to get information.
Children and Nature Network
The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working to reconnect children with nature.
National Forum on Children and Nature
Diverse public and private leaders—including four governors, three mayors, corporate CEOs, parks officials and others—have joined together as the National Forum on Children and Nature. The 54-member Forum, hosted by The Conservation Fund, a leading environmental nonprofit, is dedicated to reconnecting kids with nature. By doing so, the Forum seeks to improve children’s health and overall well-being, while encouraging them to rediscover America’s landscape.
Get Outdoors USA!
Get Outdoors USA! is a driving force behind a national movement to help our children seek out healthy, active outdoor lives and to embrace America's Great Outdoors - our parks, our forests, our refuges and other public lands and waters.
The Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund is the nation’s foremost environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting America’s most important landscapes and waterways for future generations.
Great Outdoors Month
Recognition of the value of recreation and the importance of June as a time of recreation activity prompted Presidential designation of June as Great Outdoors Month for the first time in 2004.
Beyond the TV Outdoor Activities
Teacher, parents, and kids can find many activities toyou do outside that are good for their physical, mental and emotional health and can also be educational.
Super Tracker is an online dietary and physical activity assessment tool from the USDA that provides information on your diet quality, physical activity status, related nutrition messages, and links to nutrient and physical activity information. The Food Calories/Energy Balance feature automatically calculates your energy balance by subtracting the energy you expend from physical activity from your food calories/energy intake. Use of this tool helps you better understand your energy balance status and enhances the link between good nutrition and regular physical activity including outdoor activities like fishing, hiking and gardening.
Let's Go Outside
There is a national wildlife refuge just an hour’s drive from most major metropolitan areas. This U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service site is filled with fact sheets, recommendations on wildlife books and info for youth, parents and educators.
Sea World/Busch Gardens Conservation Fund
To work with purpose and passion on behalf of wildlife and habitats worldwide, encouraging sustainable solutions through support of species research, animal rescue and rehabilitation and conservation education.
The recipient of the 2008 Audubon Medal, Richard Louv identified a phenomenon we all knew existed but couldn't quite articulate: nature-deficit disorder. Since its initial publication, his book Last Child in the Woods has created a national conversation about the disconnection between children and nature, and his message has galvanized an international movement.
This site will help you find all sorts of nature activities, plus tools to help guide and plan your adventures. You’ll also find useful tips and information to help you get into nature without getting over your head.
EcoAmerica is an environmental non-profit that uses psychographic research, strategic partnerships and engagement marketing to shift personal and civic choices of environmentally agnostic Americans.
With your child
A monthly column about with your child that is published in Florida Monthly and written by a series of FWC authors including Judy Gillan, Ann Morrow, Janise Ray and Jerrie Lindsey. Tips cover what to do with your child in the outdoors.
In your backyard
A series of articles about activities you can do that our conservation oriented in your own backyard.
Nature Clubs for Families--Tool Kit
Families are discovering that having fun outdoors doesn’t require waiting for a special event or program. Instead, they are taking the initiative and creating their own local nature clubs for families. This tool kit helps them provide accessible, easy, low- (or no-) cost fun, family-oriented activities outdoors.
Fish Busters' Bulletin
Monthly updates on Florida freshwater fishing opportunities, including how to, where to and ethical participation tips.
National Recreation and Park Association
The Mission of the National Recreation and Park Association is "To advance parks, recreation and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people."
Take a Child Outside
Take A Child Outside Week is a program designed to help break down obstacles that keep children from discovering the natural world. By arming parents, teachers and other caregivers with resources on outdoor activities, our goal is to help children across the country develop a better understanding and appreciation of the environment in which they live, and a burgeoning enthusiasm for its exploration.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
A national clearing house for statistics and credible health information including research on Obesity, healthy living and environmental health, including tips for parents about helping children maintain a healthy weight.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The Federal Government has issued its first-ever Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. They describe the types and amounts of physical activity that offer substantial health benefits to Americans.
Indian River Lagoon Adventures
The Lagoon offers many ways to explore and enjoy nature. We hope you'll use this site to find great family outings and then come back and share your experiences with others.
Natural Learning Initiative
Creating Environments for Healthy Human Development and a
Healthy Biosphere for Generations to come.
National Environmental Education Foundation
The NEEF work with a network of health professionals, weathercasters, land managers and teachers, to create and leverage public-private partnerships to promote daily actions for helping people live well while protecting and enjoying nature. They also promote National Environmental Education Week and Public Lands Day.
Outdoors Industry Association
Provides excellent research (e.g.,Active Outdoor Recreation Economy Report) and also relevant updates on government affairs.
To give parents and caregivers the information, tools, and inspiration to get their kids -- and themselves -- outside, the National Wildlife Federation created this Web site that is rich in family-friendly content and which hosts a supportive virtual community where families can learn, explore, and share their outdoor experiences and backyard adventures.
Pass it On
Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors works to find mentors for children who want to experience the great outdoors we all know and love. Teaming with youth mentoring organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, who have over 100 years of mentoring experience, we can make a difference in the lives of children across the country.
Teens Outside™, a partnership initiative of The Outdoor Foundation and NRPA, as an endorsed project of the National Forum on Children and Nature, is one of 30 projects nationwide that demonstrate new and creative ways to reconnect kids with the outdoors.
California Roundtable on Recreation, Parks and Tourism
Includes the Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights.
Maryland's Children in Nature Program
The Maryland Executive Order tasked this group with finding creative ways to enable children throughout our State to get outside and learn about nature and make environmental literacy a part of every curriculum.
Texas' Life's Better Outside
Includes their outdoor activity guide for taking kids outdoors.
Dimensions--Educational Research Foundation
Their mission is to inspire children, families and educators to connect more deeply with the world around them. This link leads to their research and early education programs.
Associated with Dimensions and the Arbor Day Foundation, this program certifies Nature Explore classrooms and provides principles and standards.
World Forum Foundation--Nature Action Collaborative for Children
This site demonstrates the global nature of the drive to reconnect children with the natural world.
Trust for Public Lands
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national, nonprofit, land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come.
We Can!™ or "Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition" is a national program designed for families and communities to help children maintain a healthy weight. The program focuses on three important behaviors: improved food choices, increased physical activity and reduced screen time.
Wildlife Habitat Council
Among their diverse programs is Corporate Lands for Learning, which fosters in learners, both children and adults, a clear understanding of the interdependence of ecology, economics and social structures in both urban and rural areas.
National Wildlife Federation
The National Wildlife Federation inspires Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. They also are sponsoring the Great American Backyard Campout on Saturday, June 27, 2009.
Florida's Children's Week strengthens Florida’s families by sharing a commitment to improve our communities through events and outreach efforts aimed at promoting the health, safety and well-being of our children.
Evergreen is a not-for-profit organization that makes cities more livable. By deepening the connection between people and nature, and empowering Canadians to take a hands-on approach to their urban environments, Evergreen is improving the health of our cities - now and for the future.
Michigan's No Child Left Inside Day
A proclamation declaring April 20, 2007 Michigan's No Child Left Inside Day.
Washington's No Child Left Inside Grant Program
No Child Left Inside focuses on ecological, environmental, educational and recreation programs. Any public or private program that meets the following goals of No Child Left Inside is encouraged to apply for a grant.
Healthy Places Act of 2007
Requires Federal agencies to support health impact assessments and take other actions to improve health and the environmental quality of communities, and for other purposes.
National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity
The National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA) advocates national policies and programs to promote healthy eating and physical activity to help reduce the illnesses, disabilities, premature deaths, and costs caused by diet- and inactivity-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
North American Association for Environmental Education
Join our network of people who believe in teaching people how to think about the environment, not what to think.
Natural Learning Initiative
Creating Environments for Healthy Human Development and a Healthy Biosphere for Generations to come.
Free Play Network
We believe that play environments should be beautiful, individually designed, should please and stimulate the senses, and be sources of delight and surprise. Nothing less will do.
State Environmental Literacy Plan
The North American Association for Environmental Education plan helps develop the knowledge and skills necessary to address complex environmental issues, it also contributes to academic achievement.
Healthy Places Act of 2007
Even if you don't live in the "country" or have a big wild area close to you, you can still benefit from nature. The key is to have natural spaces integrated into built spaces where children live and play. This Act acknowledges the importance of careful planning for the environment and human health.
Rediscover Florida -100 Ways in 100 Days
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) launched Rediscover Florida - 100 ways in 100 days, to encourage all Floridians to explore the natural, cultural and historic treasures that exist throughout the state. Florida has 160 state parks, hundreds of miles of trails and numerous coastal and aquatic areas with activities to meet every visitor's need and budget.
Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach & Service Programs
A national organization formed to support the development and maintenance of adult- natural resource education and stewardship programs such as Master Naturalists- Watershed Stewards- and Conservation Stewards.
Green Schools Awards Program
Governor Charlie Crist, together with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Department of Education, is recognizing the environmental achievements of students, teachers, classrooms, schools and school districts through the Governor’s Serve to Preserve: Green Schools Awards.
American Camp Association
ACA provides some excellent research on the positive impacts on youth development associated with nature-based experiences.
Leave No Trace
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people, worldwide.
This biomimicry association site provides a culture of ideas—biological blueprints and strategies, bio-inspired products and design sketches, and biomimics you can talk to and collaborate with.
Smart by Nature
The Center for Ecoliteracy’s initiative, Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability, provides information, inspiration, and support to the vital movement of K-12 educators, parents, and others who are helping young people gain the knowledge, skills, and values essential to sustainable living.
REI Passport to Adventure
Show kids how rewarding it can be to spend time in the outdoors. That's what the Passport to Adventure program is all about. Designed for kids aged 5-12, it's a fun way to connect them to the natural world and start them on a lifetime of outdoor recreation and stewardship.
Discover the Forest
An interactive website, where you can find ideas for outdoor activities, as well as educational and conservation information. Families can also access a nature finder tool through which a zip code search allows them to find local forests and parks.
This U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site is designed for 8-11 year olds, to reach those children not currently participating in outdoor programs and activities. It is a fun game where users can seek and identify birds by silhouette, learn about endangered and invasive species, find Sam the praying mantis, take “Lucy’s NX Challenge” and more.
From the Ground Up
From the Ground Up is a Florida-based partner of Get Outdoors Florida involved in planning, designing and installing enriching outdoor environments, particularly for children. They create landscape projects that incorporate nature with elements for physical activity and play.
Outdoor Gulf Coast
Outdoors Gulf Coast is an online community and web site where they believe the outdoors is for everyone to learn to enjoy. It can be a place for families to learn to connect with each other as well as a place for times of reflection and personal growth. Their aim is to help move you from just thinking about taking your friends and family members out for a nature adventure and into actually having a great time with them exploring the outdoors.
Your source for the outdoors in Walton County Florida and the surrounding area.
A gateway to tools and resources for promoting active living and healthy community design.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Get Outdoors Georgia (GO Georgia) shows families how easy and fun it is to get outdoors and get fit and is operated by their State Parks Service.
A list of ideas for getting active afterschool, suggested by Ms. Adrianne's Youth Group.