Michigan DNR encourages families to celebrate No Child Left Inside Week, June 19-26

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is working with the Michigan No Child Left Inside Coalition to promote “No Child Left Inside Week” June 19-26. This annual week is set aside to encourage adults and caregivers to get Michigan’s children outdoors for at least one hour each day.

“We know that getting kids outdoors is important. Studies show benefits include physical, mental and emotional improvement when kids play outdoors,” said Raymond Rustem of the DNR Marketing and Outreach Division. “Kids today need to reconnect with their outdoor heritage. They understand less about the animals and plants in their backyard than they do the characters on popular TV shows or video games.”

The coalition membership includes a variety of agencies and organizations across the state including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Chippewa Nature Center, Michigan Recreation and Parks Association, Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education and many others. The coalition’s mission is to make it easy and make sure Michigan’s children all have the opportunity to play and experience our outdoor state.

“There is no better place to participate in one of these activities than in our 98 state parks and recreation areas, or in Michigan’s millions of acres of state forest land,” Rustem added. “Many of our state parks plan special outdoor events this week that focus on getting children outdoors.”

The parks’ summer Explorer Ranger program is also in full swing. This program places Explorer guides at 40 state parks. The goal of the program is to introduce families and kids to the many outdoor opportunities in our state’s state parks. Additional information on state parks and programs can be found at: www.michigan.gov/dnrrecreationcamping.

If you like to hike, bike or walk the state maintains hundreds of miles of trails. These trails offer a variety of options from hilly terrain to easily accessible loop paths. For an interactive map to find trails close to home or wherever you are traveling, go to www.michigan.gov/dnrtrails.

For more information on how to spend a memorable day outdoors with your child and help build the next generation of the state’s conservation supporters, visit www.michigan.gov/nochildleftinside.

The Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, accessible use and enjoyment of the state’s environment, natural resources and related economic interests for current and future generations. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/dnr