Playbook helps legislators and community leaders advance policies that get kids outside

Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook

Lawmakers across the U.S. are increasingly aware that playing and learning outdoors is critical for children’s health, well-being and academic success. They also recognize that children’s connection to the natural world is tied to the future of their states’ outdoor economies and natural resources. The recently launched Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook shares bipartisan policy initiatives and resources to support statewide efforts to increase youth engagement in the outdoors.

The Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook’s policy and investment recommendations reflect the understanding that community wellbeing, social and environmental justice, and health of the natural world are inextricably linked. Connecting youth to regular, high quality outdoor experiences and environmental education has proven benefits for public health, education, workforce development, youth leadership development, economic development and conservation.

“We are living in a time where prevention is a necessity for the well-being of our children. We know the benefits outdoor experiences have on our children,” said Ohio State Representative Stephanie Howse. “With the release of the Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook, legislators across the country will be equipped with strategies on how to bring ideas and thoughts on outdoor learning into action. Ohio has a wealth of natural resources our children can connect with and I’m excited to use the playbook to create policies that help our children grow and ultimately live the American Dream, right here at home.”

The Playbook is designed to share the knowledge and experience of outdoor engagement and education champions to drive new, innovative ideas. Playbook users will benefit from:

  • A framework of guiding principles for effective policy initiatives;
  • Expertly curated research that helps make the case for youth outdoor engagement;
  • A library of successful and emerging policy initiatives that connect kids with nature and support environmental education; and,
  • Opportunities for cross sector leaders to connect.

The Playbook was designed by a national coalition that includes the Children & Nature Network, National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, North American Association for Environmental Education, Outdoor Alliance for Kids, and Meridian Institute. For more information, visit

black dog beside little girl
Photo by bin Ziegler on


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