Youth Education Programs and Resources
In order to sustain the effort of our volunteers, Colorado TU is actively working to engage the next generation of conservationists. We do this through education and outreach to Colorado’s youth, providing hands-on, field-based opportunities that foster awareness for the connections between Colorado’s trout, water resources, the environment and themselves. In an effort to create a “stream of engagement” for youth, starting around age eight and extending into their college years, Colorado TU and its chapters have several programs and resources to engage youth in their communities. By fostering a strong conservation ethic in today’s youth, we work to ensure that natural resources will continue to be protected by and for future generations.
Our education programs also benefit youth and communities. A new and growing problem affecting today’s youth is nature deficit disorder. Simply put, kids today spend an inordinate amount of time engaged with electronic media – an average of 7 hours a day. Much of this time comes at the expense of time outdoors. Research has shown that children who are alienated from nature suffer attention and mood disorders, lower grades, and obesity at a much higher rate. Studies also show that three-quarters of outdoor participants find participation in outdoor and nature-related activities strengthens their family relationships and gives them a feeling of accomplishment, an escape from life’s pressures, and an increased connection with themselves. People who engage in outdoor recreation and nature-related activities as children are 40 percent more likely to do so as adults. Reaching kids at a young age is essential in instilling a love of the outdoors which is so essential in becoming a healthy and well balanced young person and adult.
That is why Colorado TU offers a range of youth education programs and resources: