Embracing a Healthy Family: USDA Forest Service and Ad Council Launch New PSAs to Re-connect Families and Kids with Nature

USDA Forest Service and Ad Council Launch New PSAs to Re-connect Families and Kids with Nature

Children in the U.S. spend 50 percent less time outdoors than they did 20 years ago. In an effort to motivate families and their children to get outside more often and re-connect with nature, the USDA Forest Service and the Ad Council today launched new public service advertisements (PSAs) to encourage families to take the time to discover the forest.   The Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Tom Tidwell, will unveil the new PSAs on June 11 at Kingman Island in coordination with National Get Outdoors Day.

Initially launched in 2009, the campaign aims to encourage children and their families to get outside and experience the many benefits of nature. Research shows that children who play outside have a reduced risk for obesity, lower stress levels, more active imaginations and they’re more likely to become environmentally conscious adults.

The new television, radio, print and outdoor PSAs, created pro bono by ad agency, Turbine, are being released to coincide with National Get Outdoors Day on June 11. The PSAs encourage children and their parents to visit www.DiscoverTheForest.org (and the new Spanish version, DescubreElBosque.org), which includes an interactive map tool, powered by Google and Nature Find™ that enables users to search for nearby forests and parks, as well as downloadable activities for them to print and take with them when they visit.

“Parents play an important role in encouraging children to get outside in nature,” said Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “Our campaign with the Ad Council aims to re-connect families to nature by encouraging them to break free from their daily routines and experience the forest first hand. This gives families the ability to explore and engage in adventurous play, instilling in children a love for nature and fosters a sense of stewardship for the environment and our public lands.”

“We are proud to join our partners at the USDA Forest Service again this year with new materials that encourage families to truly discover the wonders of our national, state and urban forests,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We hope the result is that more children experience the joys of nature and that it creates a lifetime of interest and environmental stewardship.”

"It goes without saying, the world of electronics pervades all our lives more than ever," says Rob Slosberg, Partner and Creative Director at Turbine.  "This campaign encourages parents to unplug and bring your kids to the forest to experience all the wonders of nature."

The Ad Council and the USDA Forest Service will promote the new PSAs through a multifaceted social media effort on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Visit the campaign's online communities on facebook.com/DiscoverTheForest,YouTube.com/DiscoverTheForest and twitter.com/cheecker.

For more information on local events and ways to celebrate National Get Outdoors Day visit www.NationalGetOutdoorsDay.org

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