Photo courtesy of Refreshing Mountain

In a time when kids are less likely to be connected to the outdoors, a new study suggests encouraging youth to engage in solitary outdoor activities helps them develop an affinity for nature. Activities such as fishing, hunting or exploring outside help them feel comfortable in the outdoors. Kathryn Stevenson, author of the study and an assistant professor in North Carolina State University’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, says, “There are all kinds of benefits from building connections to nature and spending time outside. One of the benefits we’re highlighting is that children who have a strong connection to nature are more likely to want to take care of the environment in the future.”