Outdoor engagement presents a unique opportunity to serve diverse constituencies because it provides mental and physical health benefits, supports economic development, and connects communities. Time spent outside has been shown to reduce stress, help treat ADHD in children, and ameliorate PTSD symptoms in veterans. However, there is increasing recognition that these benefits aren’t distributed equally, and states are working to ensure nature access is equitable and available for all communities. Outdoor recreation can also provide new economic opportunities for community development.
NCEL Point of Contact
Outdoor Policy CoordinatorContact
There is a growing body of research demonstrating the physical and mental benefits of outdoor recreation and time in nature.
The outdoor recreation economy consists of $887 billion in consumer spending and 7.6 million American jobs.
Spending time outdoors can lead to reduced PTSD and stress, improved concentration, and promoting overall well-being.
Outdoor Engagement and Environmental Justice
Time in nature can have immense mental and physical health benefits, but unfortunately these opportunities are often not available to everyone.
It was through working with NCEL and connecting with other like-minded legislators that I developed my ideas for outdoor engagement legislation for Nevada. In particular, I was able to look to other states that had implemented some version of No Child Left Inside to develop my bill in the 2019 Legislative Session.
Steve Yeager, State Assemblyman, Nevada
NCEL has helped me to cultivate relationships that have allowed me to think through and reflect ideas rooted in my spaces, and seeing how they can also transform the rest of the nation--for the better.
Angelica Rubio, State Representative, New Mexico
NCEL has been instrumental in connecting me with other legislative leaders, stakeholders and Federal funding opportunities for the environmental work I am most passionate about. I am most proud of bringing outdoor education and nature programming to our public school children and have been grateful for NCEL’s support.
Alicia Rule, State Representative, Washington