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DCNR visits with children from early childhood learning center in Harrisburg
Secretary Ellen Ferretti, along with DCNR educators, conducted a number of learning activities related to nature and the outdoors with pre-school children from the Hildebrandt Early Learning Center at the Finance Building in Harrisburg on Tuesday.

The kids pretended they were trees, learned about why trees are important and did some bark rubbings in Soldiers and Sailors Grove on the Capitol grounds.

The event was part of the Kids in Nature initiative intended to renew a focus on getting Pennsylvania’s families to spend more time enjoying the outdoors.

“I am visiting kid-focused events throughout this year to interest children and their families in exploring nature and visiting our state parks and forests. We’ll also be conducting a few contests this summer to draw attention to Kids in Nature,” Ferretti said.

Many child advocates fear that the lack of outdoor activities has a devastating effect on children’s mental and physical health. Environmental stewards worry that the younger generations’ disconnect to the outdoors will mean as adults they will be less likely to be personally committed to the protection of our natural resources.

DCNR staff has been spending much of this year learning from youth and elevating the awareness of existing opportunities to get kids outdoors.

DCNR has a new website——as a source of information for parents and teachers about where to go outside, and what to do when they get there.

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June 11, 2014

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