The Issue: Decreased Time Spent Outdoors by Youth
In the last two decades, children have replaced outdoor play with indoor entertainment. According to studies collected by the National Wildlife Federation, the average child spends only four–seven minutes a day in unstructured outdoor activity, compared to upward of seven hours a day in front of an electronic screen. The shift is likely a contributing factor to dwindling health and development—not only have obesity rates more than doubled in the last 20 years, pediatric antidepressant and ADHD prescriptions have risen significantly. Yet studies show that outdoor play and exposure to nature boost fitness levels, decrease stress, and may even be effective in reducing ADHD symptoms.
The Campaign: Eco-Investigations Summer Camp
If this Grassroots campaign raises $400, then the Texas Conservation Alliance can provide an intern to teach a week's worth of Eco-Investigations summer camp for 20 Dallas-area elementary students at the Trinity River Audubon Center. A college intern studying to be a teacher will lead the nature camp and teach water conservation, litter control, water-quality improvement, and other science concepts to the students, helping to spark excitement in nature, support classroom learning, and increase performance on standardized science tests. The LEED-certified center, located adjacent to one of the country's largest urban forests, features classrooms, labs, and exhibit halls, and is surrounded by five miles of nature trails and ponds. Each additional $400 raised will fund another week of the intern’s time to teach another 20 students, and if $3,200 is raised, then the Texas Conservation Alliance can fund the entire duration––eight weeks––of the camp.
To celebrate the launch of Groupon Grassroots, Groupon will provide a $1,000 kickoff grant to this campaign.
Texas Conservation Alliance
The Texas Conservation Alliance works to protect Texas's rivers, forests, coastlines, and wildlife. With a broad base of volunteers, and coalitions with more than 40 conservation, landowner, and sporting organizations, the alliance educates Texans to sustain wildlife and preserve land, air, and water for future generations. Programs also extend to youth, such as the Eco-Investigations summer camp that joins forces with the Trinity River Audubon Center, helping to spark excitement and interest in nature and plant the seed of future environmental appreciation and conservation.
Sustained efforts have earned the Texas Conservation Alliance many successes. The organization has established four national wildlife refuges throughout Texas, protected rivers from unnecessary dams, and launched recycling and energy-conservation programs.