Oregon is a land rich in natural beauty and diverse landscapes from the seashore, to the deserts, mountains, rivers and lakes. Oregonians have long taken pride in our natural environment and enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle. Unfortunately, national and Oregon studies are revealing what park & recreation professionals have been aware of for several years now, that our families and children are spending less and less time outdoors.
Youth are becoming less connected to our natural world. That disconnection has direct consequences on their health and personal development, but more alarmingly it is simply a detachment from nature, a lack in the understanding of our personal relationship with nature. How we breathe, how we eat, how we drink.
To combat this disturbing trend, the Oregon Recreation & Park Association has launched an adventurous initiative, the Oregon Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights (OCOBOR). The simple goals of this initiative is to get families to play more outdoors, educate families on the many benefits of outdoor play, and unite agencies statewide in opening the doors to Oregon’s outdoor play land.
Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski proclaimed September 27, 2010 to be Oregon Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights Day. The Bill of Rights simply states that as they grow, every Oregon child should have the opportunity to follow a trail, go boating, camp out under the stars, learn to swim, walk barefoot on the beach, climb a tree, observe animals in their habitat, catch a fish, play in a nearby park, and explore Oregon’s culture and history.