Getting 5,000 families outside this fall is no mean feat.
But that's exactly why the City of Richmond has teamed up with the David Suzuki Foundation and its "Family Challenge Campaign."
For the next four weeks, Richmond residents are being encouraged to get outside with their families.
According to a recent David Suzuki Foundation survey, 70 per cent of Canadian youth spend an hour or less outside each day.
The same survey found that families and teachers play an important role in helping young people get close to nature.
"Getting outside as a family can help create a nature habit," said Leanne Clare, project lead for David Suzuki Foundation's Connecting Youth with Nature Program. "We found that if youth spend time outside when they're young, they're 20 per cent more likely to explore nature on their own when they're older."
To encourage families to spend more time outside, the David Suzuki Foundation has created a four-week challenge asking families to do four simple outdoor activities that have them explore their neighbourhoods and their connections to nature. Suggested activities include:
Week 1: Food miles for the family: Visit the local farmers' market to see the bounty of the fall harvest;
Week 2: Discovering that nature has limits: Hike through the fall colours to learn that nature has limits we must learn to respect;
Week 3: Water, water, everywhere: Look for ponds, streams and puddles in your neighbourhood to start off a conversation about the importance of water in nature and our lives;
Week 4: Home-heating blowing away with the wind: Pull on sweaters and hunt for drafts around your home to help fight climate change.
"The Family Challenge Campaign is a great way for families to reconnect with the environment," said Mayor Malcolm Brodie.
"It reminds us that we need a healthy environment in order to live healthy lives and encourages families to get outside and be active."
For more information, visit www.davidsuzuki.org/what-youcan-do/connecting-youth-with-nature.
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