• Promoting the great outdoors
    June 19,2013
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    Betsy and I care deeply about the great outdoors and want all to be able to enjoy these special places for generations to come. That’s why we are going to Washington, D.C. on June 24 for Great Outdoors America Week.

    We’re joining delegates from around the country to remind our elected representatives to support efforts that reconnect Americans, especially kids and young adults, with the outdoors. It’s well-documented that we don’t spend much time outdoors anymore — 80 percent of Americans live in urban areas with little access to green spaces, and young people spend an average of 7.5 hours a day connected to electronic media, and less time getting outside in nature.

    New Hampshire’s Carol Shea-Porter and Ann Kuster get our message; so does Vermont’s Peter Welch. We will be engaged in a bipartisan effort to broaden the base of ongoing congressional support for measures that help promote a greater awareness of the importance of our outdoor environment. National efforts can dovetail nicely with state and local strategies — particularly the outings organized by several area groups.

    Getting people outside is a way to re-energize Americans to protect our special places. We have to make sure that people living in all parts of the country have access to meaningful outdoor activities — from access to national parks to the park across the street. When we’re back from Washington, we hope to see you on one of the many, locally organized outings.

    DENIS RYDJESKI

    BETSY ELDREDGE

    (Sierra Club of

    the Upper Valley)

    Springfield
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