Nowadays, youth tend to spend more time facing a screen than facing the environment. Many teens spend hours sitting still than they do standing and strolling around their neighbourhood. Most kids of this generation would rather stay indoors than go outside.
I know I spend an awful lot of time on my phone in a sedentary position at home.
But there’s something about nature that just can’t be rivalled. Games, movies, and even books simply cannot replace feeling the sun on your face, the wind in your hair, the grass on your feet.
And I didn’t realize the implications of this issue until a few years ago.
I want to thank an organization called Get to Know for making me realize the importance of going out into the wild and creating connections with the natural world. I’m slightly biased because I was part of their team last year and I hope to continue working with them in 2016. But I wouldn’t be involved in a cause if I didn’t genuinely care about it.
(Images courtesy of Get to Know.)
Their goal is to:
…foster connections to nature through the creative arts and to celebrate the fantastic work being done by youth in response to the environment and the need to understand and value nature.
Every year they host a contest which invites youth to go outdoors, get inspired, and create a piece of art based upon some aspect of their experience.
This is particularly important in this day and age, as children continue to abandon outdoor experiences.
(Quotations are from their About page.)
What initially drew me to the contest was their focus on the creative arts. As a writer and a dancer, the arts have played an integral role in my life. So seeing Get to Know combine creativity with getting outdoors to appreciate nature more is the best of both worlds.
Ultimately, I want to leave this earth better than how I found it. And I can only hope I leave it in good hands. That’s why encouraging people—especially younger children—to respect natural resources and appreciate what the environment has to offer has been a priority of mine these past few years.
If nothing else, seeing fauna and flora has been more rewarding than scrolling through my Facebook timeline.