Oregon Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights is combating a disturbing trend in Oregon and the United States: today’s youth are spending less time outdoors and are less connected to the natural world. Children who are indoors all the time are more likely to engage only in sedentary activities and be less fit. That can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other direct negative consequences to their health.
The Recreation Division has long recognized what research has now confirmed: just being outside has a remarkable rejuvenating and calming effect that can reduce hyperactivity in children. In response to the recent trend away from outside play, Recreation developed the Full Moon Rising Program that uses outdoor activities to teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematics curriculum in local schools and then, depending on the season, takes the children tree climbing, rock climbing, boating, or sledding.
It was at the urging of the Recreation Division that the Oregon Recreation & Park Association launched the OCOBOR initiative. It guarantees the right of every Oregon child 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.
For more information, contact Recreation Division Manager Craig Smith at 541-682-5334.