This year on Tuesday, October 12 we’re asking you to “Think Outside!” and celebrate CEH Day 2021 with us. Folks all across the US are planning a day of nature-oriented activities to raise the visibility of the need for increased, equitable access to safe green spaces for children and honor the important role nature plays in children’s health.
Easy access to safe, natural environments improves kids’ physical and mental health. Time in and near nature has been linked to increased physical activity, reduced symptoms of asthma and attention disorders, decreased stress, anxiety, and depression, and increased self-confidence in children.
Unfortunately, access to nature isn't equal for all kids. Children from communities of color, immigrant communities, and lower-income communities are less likely to have access to safe green spaces in their neighborhoods and are less likely to feel comfortable exploring natural areas they can access, due to the current lack of diversity in many outdoor activities and racist policies that encouraged this segregation.
"Think Outside!" on October 12th to take a stand for children's environmental health, for children's right to spend time in safe green spaces, and for a more equitable and diverse outdoors.
To join, individuals and organizations should first sign the pledge to Think Outside! for CEH Day 2021. Then, on your own or with family, friends, or community, plan how you'll Think Outside. You could take a hike, visit an environmental center, watch a nature documentary, read a book about the environment, or have some quiet time in a park. The goal is to take some time on Tuesday, October 12th to engage with nature in your own way!
Looking for ways to Think Outside for Children’s Environmental Health Day? Join us for a film screening and panel discussion. This virtual event will begin by screening a series of environmental short films focusing on the importance of nature to children's mental and physical health, and the barriers faced by many children to equitable access to nature. of environmental short films followed by a discussion moderated by CEHN Board Member Leyla McCurdy, featuring panelists from Outdoor Outreach, Children & Nature Network, and Park Rx sharing lessons learned, challenges, and successes in their work increasing children's equitable access to nature.
- Dr. Robert Zarr MD, MPH, Founder and Medical Director, Park Rx America; and Pediatrician, Unity Health Care
- Mr. Lesford Duncan, MPH, Senior Director of Programs, Outdoor Outreach
- Ms. Priya Cook, MPP- Green Schoolyards Consultant, Children & Nature Network
- Mx. Lexus Morrow- Development Coordinator, Outdoor Outreach
- Ms. Tatiana Butte- 2020 Outdoor Retailer Inspiration Awards Youth Category winner University of California Berkeley student, Outdoor Outreach