Multiple studies have concluded that youth participation in outdoor recreation is good for the body, good for the head, good for the environment. But a new study by the non-profit Outdoor Foundation concluded that during the past six years, youth participation in the outdoors has decreased by approximately 20 percent.
Commissioned by Eureka!, a designer and manufacturer of camping equipment, the study charted the views of more than 1,100 Americans. Among its findings:
• 51 percent said "competition with technology" is the main reason children are not getting outside.
• 22 percent said they don't participate in outdoor activity with their kids because there's "not enough time."
• 16 percent said the cost of gear, etc., prevents kids from participating in outdoor recreation.
• 61 percent said parents carry the main responsibility for ensuring the next generation of Americans will engage in outdoor recreation.
• 43 percent of parents said they go outdoors with their children "several times per year," and 20 percent said they get out with their kids every month.
"Having this information from the Eureka! Getting Youth Outdoors Survey helps us identify what the issues are, and what we as a society need to do to provide a solution," said Eureka! brand director Mark Hrubant, in a written statement. "It has been proven again and again that outdoor recreation has many benefits for our children ranging from physical health to mental well being."
Squaw Valley plant pest
The pond at Squaw Valley Park in O'Hara is being treated by the township to remove an invasive aquatic plant. Removal of the bright green parrot feather weed, native to South America, includes spraying an organic herbicide that is expected to kill all plant life in the pond. The spray is not harmful to humans or wildlife, although fish and other animals will be forced to temporarily cope with the loss of habitat. When remediation is competed, new aquatic plants will be seeded throughout the pond.
Fishing program at The Point
Pittsburgh fishing instructor Karen Gainey will host an angling education program at Point State Park. No fee is required to participate in Drop a Line at The Point, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 10, and tackle and live bait are included. Standard fishing license requirements apply.
Trout in hot water
Anglers are reminded to carry a thermometer while fishing for trout in the summer. The cold-water species have difficulty drawing oxygen from water when it reaches 70 degrees. Hooked in warm water, trout can die from angler-related stresses before they're released.