Parents to Take Their Families to Play

WASHINGTON, DC -/PRNewswire/ — Today four of the nation’s leaders and experts in bringing families and nature together, The Nature Conservancy, REI, Children and Nature Network, and ecoAmerica, announced the launch of Nature Rocks – an initiative created to inspire and empower parents across the country to take their families to play, explore and enjoy quality time in nature.

With summer fast approaching, parents are now focused on planning fun, family activities — determining the best activities to keep kids and parents busy and entertained during the summer months. Nature Rocks is an ideal solution to this need, as it has been designed to ensure that all families – regardless of budget, kids’ ages or experience – can plan affordable and fun activities in nature that encourage family bonding and nurture happier, healthier and smarter children.

As part of its efforts to empower parents to take their kids outside, Nature Rocks introduces its 2009 Summer Nature Staycation Planning Guide. Available at Nature Rocks , this free Guide provides parents and caregivers with information and tools to enjoy no- or low-cost summer vacations in nature that are close to home.

“The benefits of nature for children are fundamental. We have seen tremendous growth in the movement to get children back outside, as parents realize these benefits for their children, and themselves, and spread the word,” said Richard Louv, co-founder of The Children & Nature Network and author of the best-seller Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. “And, as families look for lower cost vacation options, we hope they will discover that nature offers them a personal stimulus package – the joy and cost-effectiveness of summer getaways in nearby nature – saving money while improving the physical and emotional well-being of their children.”

“Nature Rocks really speaks to our passion of getting families to recreate together outside,” said Sally Jewell, president and CEO of Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI). “By combining efforts with the other organizations behind Nature Rocks, we’re able to make a difference and improve the lifestyles of American families by making it easy and fun to get moving and get outdoors.”

Whether seeking outdoor activities at local sites such as parks and campsites, or looking for new activities to keep out-of-school kids active in backyards and neighborhoods, the 2009 Summer Nature Staycation Planning Guide offers information and solutions for all families, including those new to spending time outdoors. Additionally, the Nature Rocks website has more than 100 activity recommendations, as well as user-friendly nature finder and social networking tools to assist families in implementing their own Nature Staycations this summer.

“The Nature Conservancy works around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters, and we are dedicated to supporting conservation work that will not only enrich the natural world, but also better our health and our lives,” said M. Sanjayan, Lead Scientist at The Nature Conservancy. “Now, working on the Nature Rocks initiative, we’re able to help the next generation better their health and reconnect with nature.”

“As a working mom with two young children, I appreciate useful ideas that improve my and my family’s lives,” said Meighen Speiser, Vice President of Marketing for ecoAmerica. “Like all parents, I want what is best for my kids. We enjoy fun and relaxing quality time together. The Nature Rocks website offers loads of easy-to-use tools, tips and over 100 fun activities like nature art, weekend camping, hiking at a nearby park or an impromptu neighborhood nature scavenger hunt. The added bonus is that these activities are either inexpensive or free.”
2009 Summer Nature Staycation Planning Guide

The 2009 Summer Nature Staycation Planning Guide provides parents with a useful tool to plan a range of close-to-home activities, complete with great starter ideas and suggestions for families to use during their summer holiday. The Guide has been developed to be helpful to all families across the country – regardless of where they live, their kids’ ages, time available, or familiarity with nature, or if they want to do an activity outside or bring nature indoors.

For some parents they may wish to augment your local Nature with a Traditional Children’s Summer Camp experience. Swift Nature Camp is a wonderful way to have children learn more about nature while getting away from all the societal trappings that young people feel defines who they are. To learn more visit Swift Nature Camp online Nature Summer Camps

Swift Nature Camp is a Minnesota Summer Camp for boys and girls ages 6-15. We blend traditional Overnight Summer Camp activities while increasing a child’s appreciation for nature and the environment at this Science Summer Camp.

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