Maine conference aims to get more kids outside

Posted Oct. 01, 2008, at 3:43 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6:18 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Parents, government officials and leaders in education, health, child development and outdoor recreation will gather Thursday in Augusta to find ways to get children to spend more time outdoors.

They face a lot of competition from computers and other forms of electronic entertainment. The Kaiser Family Foundation says youths between 8 and 18 spend an average of 6½ hours a day — or more than 45 hours a week — with electronic media.

Meanwhile, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says obesity in children has increased from about 4 percent in the 1960s to nearly 20 percent in 2004.

Larry Selzer of the National Forum on Children and Nature and chief executive officer of The Conservation Fund will be keynote speaker. Gov. John Baldacci will open the conference.