OLD TOWN – Officials from Hirundo Wildlife Refuge have pledged to help kids get better in touch with nature.
To get kids off their phones and outside into nature, officials from Hirundo Wildlife Refuge announced early Thursday the start of their 2020 Kids in Nature campaign.
According to the refuge’s website, the campaign’s focus is to help kids establish a connection to nature.
Nadia Mendiola, a Child Psychiatrist from Northern Light Acadia Hospital, said Thursday morning spending time in nature improves mental, physical and emotional health
“There’s many research studies that are out there that show a correlation between the amount of technology and social media being used, and depressive and anxiety symptoms. So the higher the amount of hours that we spend on this virtual connectedness, the higher the depressive and anxiety scores on our scales,” Mendiola said.
“In every walk in nature, one receives far more than he seeks. I’m reminded of that every time I hike and I think for children there’s a multiplier effect. For children, for learning about their environment and surroundings, that means so much more,” Maine Discovery Museum Executive Director Niles Parker said.
With a logbook, refuge officials can track how many kids come into the refuge, either through environmental education programs with schools or through family visits to the refuge.
Overall Hirundo Wildlife Refuge officials said the goal of the 2020 Kids in Nature program is to engage 2,020 kids with nature this year.