Federal update

November 18, 2010 kidsandnature Legislation

Good News!
Today Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) introduced the Moving Outdoors in Nature Act (MONA) in the United States House of Representatives! As a part of the Outdoor Alliance for Kids (OAK), NRPA worked with Representative Kind’s office on the crafting of the legislation. Park and recreation agencies (including special park districts) are eligible for the grant funding provided by the Act. Once enacted into law, MONA will reconnect children, youth and families with the natural world, while improving children’s health, supporting economic growth and strengthening the future of conservation in America. The legislation encourages solutions that include connecting communities with green spaces, providing opportunities for outdoor recreation, engaging the health community to educate parents and caregivers and will achieve these goals by:

-Directing the President to develop an inter-agency federal strategy and action plan to connect children, youth and families with the natural world;
-Encouraging states to develop similar state-based strategies that incorporate public health, parks and recreation, transportation and other initiatives at the local level;
-Supporting research documenting the health, conservation and other benefits of active time spent outdoors in the natural world. The legislation is unlikely to be introduced in the Senate in the 111th Congress. However, the introduction of the bill during this session will help to raise awareness of the need to get children moving outdoors and will also help build support for the introduction in the 112th Congress.

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