Fostering environmental awareness and a conservation ethic among New Jerseyans is central to NJ Audubon’s mission. Beyond hands-on activities and learning opportunities such as those offered for all ages at NJ Audubon centers throughout the state, there are many important policy initiatives that contribute to these efforts.
- Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights
- No Child Left Inside Act
Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights
In recognition of the fact that children are spending less time outdoors exploring and learning about their natural world, several states have adopted a Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. These are often passed in the form of a resolution to heighten awareness and increase opportunities for children to spend more time outside.
NJ Audubon has and continues to play an active role in advocating for New Jersey’s adoption of its own Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. In July 2010, such a resolution was introduced into New Jersey’s Assembly.
Resources: NJ Children’s Bill of Rights
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No Child Left Inside Act
Over the past few decades, children have spent less time outdoors, and, in recent years, this lack of nature in children's lives has been linked to disturbing trends, such as childhood obesity, asthma, attention disorders, and depression. Environmental education plays a key role in reversing this trend by getting children outside and connecting them with and informing them about the natural world. It encourages outdoor recreation and sound nutrition and helps to enhance learning and problem solving skills, increase engagement in the sciences, foster understanding and solutions to the major environmental challenges facing the U.S., and prepare future leaders to excel in a green economy.
The federal No Child Left Inside Act (H.R. 2547/S.1372) places environmental education at the heart of its mission. By providing assistance to states in the development and implementation of environmental literacy plans and promoting the professional development of educators in the area of environmental education, the Act seeks to implement environmental education at its best. The Act not only encourages well-constructed plans to achieve increased environmental literacy with measurable results but contributes resources for doing so. If approved, New Jersey could receive $1-2 million for teacher training, innovative technology, and program assessment.
With a significant portion of NJ Audubon efforts dedicated to cultivating environmental awareness and ethic, NJ Audubon strongly supports the No Child Left Inside Act. This Act provides a realistic opportunity to advance New Jersey’s educational system and the competency of its citizens.
Resources: No Child Left Inside Act
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