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Health, Science & Environment

SLC Mayor Touts Plans to Get Kids Outside

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker wants to get children outdoors and inspire a new generation of environmental stewards.

The sixth graders of the Pacific Heritage Academy aren’t too worried about the Mayor’s challenge to spend 30 minutes outdoors each day over 30 days, since adventures outside are part of their classwork. Lorena Thompson also enjoys spare time outside, playing with her dog, riding her bike and camping with her family.

“When I’m outside, I always find something to do,” she says, “and I think it’s very fun, and it makes me feel happy.”

The sixth graders and Curious George joined Mayor Ralph Becker Thursday to announce his new program, SLC Kids Explore. It’s linked to a national initiative recently unveiled by U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

Becker’s program includes a web page with ideas to help families have fun and explore Utah’s extraordinary open spaces. Becker says children benefit by putting aside their screens and connecting with Nature.

“All of us who have had the ability of getting outdoors and connecting with Nature and how it enriches us in every way – physically, mentally , spiritually – know that we’ve got to get our kids outdoors,” Becker says.

The Tracy Aviary and local schools are taking part, encouraging families to post their outdoor-challenge stories and pictures online.

Becker is running for reelection. His opponent on November 3rd is Jackie Biskupski, who had no comment.

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