COMMUNITY HEALTH AND WELLNESS
All children and youth have increased access to safe places outdoors and initiatives to improve their physical and mental health. OAK supports efforts to:
- ensure every child in America has safe access to public parks and open spaces within a half mile of their home;
- protect, restore, or establish natural areas, parks, play spaces and walking and biking paths near schools and populations centers where safe and accessible outdoor areas may be limited; and
- encourage our children to get the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, with an emphasis on outdoor play when appropriate and safe.
Legislative Issues and Initiatives Related to Community Health and Wellness
- SUPPORT the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act, which will spearhead a national movement to get children back outdoors, physically active, and lessen screen time – a pointed response to the one in three children who are overweight or obese.
- SUPPORT and protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund, the first mandatory and sustained funding stream dedicated solely to invest in prevention and public health programs – many of which are community-based and several focusing on physical activity and the outdoors. Oppose any proposals to use the Fund as an offset for other policies.
- SUPPORT the Community Parks Revitalization Act, which will help communities build and revitalize parks and recreational spaces in urban areas, providing the physical space for children to play, connecting to nature where they live, and getting the physical activity they need.
- SUPPORT a long-term reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Act (MAP-21) which includes dedicated funding for Active Transportation options, including trails and pedestrian projects which promote safety, accessibility and increased physical activity in local communities across America.
- SUPPORT permanent reauthorization and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which protects our open spaces, near and far, and improves access to them for children, youth and families. The federal land acquisition and state and local assistance programs supported by the Fund provide opportunities for young people to get physically active outdoors.
Administrative Issues and Initiatives Related to Community Health and Wellness
- SUPPORT the National Prevention Strategy, created by the National Prevention Council, to guide our nation in the most effective and achievable means for improving health and well-being.
- SUPPORT Let’s Move! Outside, administered by the Department of Interior, which aims to get kids and families to take advantage of America’s great outdoors-which abound in every city, town and community.
- SUPPORT Secretary Jewell’s youth PLAY, LEARN, SERVE and WORK initiative, which aims to expand opportunities for youth to play on our nation’s public lands. The “Play” goals of the initiative are to place 10 million youth in outdoor recreation programs in 50 cities over the next four years.
- SUPPORT President Obama’s Every Kid in a Park initiative to encourage children to get active outdoors. Every Kid will provide free passes for fourth graders to visit our public lands, waters and shores. The initiative also provides transportation resources for Title I schools.