Nature Play Day 2015
Nature Play Day Encourages Active Living and Spending Time Outside
Outdoor play is necessary for a healthy lifestyle
Connecting with nature is one of the best things everyone can do to improve their overall health and wellness. Spending time outside was once common among most people; now many struggle to spend even a full hour outside every day. As this trend progresses there have been numerous reports of increasing obesity and health-problems related to sedentary behavior.
The 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card indicates that Canadian children and youth are spending even less time outside than ever before. Research indicates that every day children spend almost 8 hours in front of screens (computer, phone, TV) and spend less than one hour outside. Even more worrisome is the fact that children are spending less than three hours engaging in physical activity each week.
It has long been understood that connecting with nature on a regular basis is a fundamental requirement for healthy child development. Numerous studies suggest that spending time outside is critical to the mental, emotional, physical and social well-being of all people. Positive impacts from daily contact with nature may include: enhanced cognitive abilities, improved academic performance, increased physical activity, improved eyesight, improved social relations, and reduced stress, among many other benefits.
In an effort to spread this message and get families outside, the Helen Schuler Nature Centre along with the Lethbridge YMCA will host the third annual Nature Play Day event on Saturday June 13th from 12:00noon until 4:00pm at Henderson Lake Park in Lethbridge.
Nature Play Day is a free family event that is part of a larger national movement that aims to get people outside and moving. This year’s event marks the third annual local Nature Play Day event and should be the biggest and best yet. Participants will have the chance to try many different activities, including:
- Alberta Health Services - Bike & sun safety!
- B93.3 & Country 95.5 Boombox
- Boys & Girls Club – Earth volleyball!
- Buskers' Association – Live music!
- City of Lethbridge – Recreation & Culture – Lawn Games!
- City of Lethbridge – Yellow Fish Road!
- DASA – Dragon boating!
- Helen O’Grady Drama Academy
- Helen Schuler Nature Centre – Geocaching, water bug safari, hammock hangout, and make your own Nature Play Day T-shirt!
- High Level Canoes and Kayaks – Kayak and canoeing!
- Kiwanis Club – Twoonie BBQ!
- Lethbridge Public Library – Free play games!
- Lethbridge YMCA – Forest exploration, Frisbee, and waterless tattoos!
- NASH Project – Meet a Service Dog!
- Princess Parties – Physical literacy!
- St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Music Program – Drumming & music making!
- YWCA – Parachute games and group activities!
- Zumba Lethbridge – Zumba!
Nature Play Day is intended to spark a dialogue around active living while encouraging everyone to get outside and get moving! All activities on site will be free and open to all participants.
In any event, spending time in nature is one of the most important things you can do to improve your overall health – whether it be by virtue of a walk in the valley or floating down the river. The best part about being outside is being outside. So, please, stop. Unplug. Go outside. Have fun!
If you would like more information about Nature Play Day in Lethbridge, please contact Curtis Goodman at 403-320-4985 or email [email protected]
The Helen Schuler Nature Centre is a team of volunteers, staff, and partners dedicated to offering a wide range of interactive experiences that connect people to their local natural heritage. In doing so, the Nature Centre fosters a community of environmentally aware and responsible citizens. The Nature Centre is located north of Indian Battle Park under the CPR High Level Bridge.