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Parks Week celebrated as kids connect with nature

Thursday 27 February, 2014

Inspiring children and their families to get out and connect with nature will be a focus of Parks Victoria’s celebrations during Parks Week from 3-9 March 2014.

Parks Victoria’s Chief Executive, Dr Bill Jackson said this is a great time of year to enjoy all that Victoria’s parks have to offer including camping, picnicking, bushwalking or just exploring your local park.

“Parks are a perfect playground for children and their families to have fun in and connect with nature,” said Dr Jackson.

“A growing body of research world-wide suggests that getting into parks and connecting with nature is good for people’s mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.

 “At a time when children are spending more time indoors with computers and other screens, and many are facing health issues through lack of exercise, it’s even more important to make the most of all the healthy benefits that our parks and nature provide.”

“In Australia, preventable diseases like diabetes are becoming more common— with its prevalence at least doubling in the past two decades.”

There are some fantastic programs and activities available and I encourage everyone to get involved and make the most of Victoria’s beautiful parks and stunning natural environments.”

Initiatives that welcome children and their families to Victoria’s parks include:

  • The recently opened Brimbank Park Playscape that has been designed to inspire children of all abilities to explore, socialise and have fun in nature.
  • Parks Victoria’s Junior Ranger Program —an exciting environmental program encouraging primary-aged children and their families to explore and have fun in Victoria’s parks and reserves by participating in a wealth of activities during the school holidays.
  • Bush Kinders —preschool education programs held almost exclusively outdoors where children are encouraged to take the lead in playing, exploring and learning in a forest or natural environment. Bush kinders are currently being run at Coolart Homestead and Wetlands, and in the Dandenongs and Grampians national parks.
Parks Week is an annual celebration of the important role that parks play in contributing to healthy communities. Parks Week is coordinated by Parks Forum, the peak body for parks agencies across Australia and New Zealand.

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