I support Prop 14-7.
As a parent who remembers “the good ‘ole days” of my own childhood spent outdoors, I often regret how so many of us have settled into experiencing the world through our screens and handheld devices, rather than through first-hand experiences with the world — especially the non-human natural world. But I am particularly concerned for kids: Unless they are lucky enough to be involved in activities such as scouting or to have family members who hunt, fish, hike, bike, or otherwise encourage being outdoors, the prospects for kids connecting with nature are not the best.
Kids not only grow healthier, wiser and better adjusted through being outdoors regularly, but they also internalize an appreciation for wildlife and the natural world in general — and with that internalization comes the motivation for taking care of it long-term. That’s why easily accessible open spaces, especially those with intact ecosystems such as the Amon Preserve, are so important — not only for now, but for our future wellbeing.
We live in a community that has become one of the nation’s growth hotspots and is rapidly being developed — unfortunately, not always in well-planned ways. But we still have the opportunity to get it right — to determine what kind of community we want to be. Does that vision include fostering opportunities for kids and families to connect with the natural world?
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For the annual cost to the average household of a video game, let’s have the foresight and take action now to set aside more land for recreation and natural open spaces, while it’s still available — and then let’s take breaks from our screens to get outside and enjoy it with our kids and grandkids.
— CYNTHIA SHAW, Richland