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TPWD News Release — Oct. 22, 2009
In the span of just one generation, the average time children spend inside in front of electronic media has grown to over six hours per day, while time spent outdoors has dropped by over 50 percent. Research shows that these lifestyle changes have been a factor in the rising incidence of childhood obesity, stress and attention problems. Children are losing the benefits nurtured by nature-play, such as increased creativity, resilience, problem solving and cooperation. Author Richard Louv coined a new term for the situation in his book "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder." The alarming trend has motivated pediatricians, educators, elected officials, and people from all walks of life, who are buoyed by expert views that the problem is solvable and efforts to reconnect families with nature could yield great benefits.
TPWD has aligned with a national organization, the Children & Nature Network, to help reverse this trend. TPWD’s Life’s Better Outside® campaign was created to promote children spending more time in nature here in Texas. TPWD will be working with educational and healthcare institutions, media, sporting goods companies, large retailers, and other companies to promote this campaign. Toyota is the founding sponsor.
"TPWD is looking for additional partners and sponsors to join the effort," said Lydia Saldana, TPWD communications director. "We are off to a strong start, but Texas is a big state and we need all the help we can get to increase awareness about the benefits of children spending unstructured time in nature."
Cause-related marketing refers to cooperative efforts of a "for-profit" business and a non-profit organization or government program for mutual benefit. The for-profit business partners with a cause, like Life’s Better Outside®, that fits with their corporate mission and helps to promote it through their marketing. For instance, a retailer might offer a series of products like food or camping gear under a Life’s Better Outside® promotion with the bottom line to encourage children and their families toward a healthier lifestyle.
The statewide program will offer several ways for companies to tap into this initiative. For example, maps and information showing where and how to play in nature, TV ads, online ads, radio ads, online creative and other tie-in promotions are being developed. Interested corporations, non-profits agencies and health care providers are still being sought and should contact Glenda Beasley, TPWD marketing manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 389-4560.
For more information visit, the Life’s Better Outside® partners Web site.
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