Why go Outside?

Why is it important to get kids outdoors? Why should they discover nature?

We at the Pa. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources strive to connect our visitors to the outdoors each day. With over 2.2 million acres of state forest and over 120 state parks, the opportunities for outdoor connections are endless! Let us help you take your kids outdoors!

More and more children today have less and less contact with the natural world. All this is having a huge impact on their health and development, the economy and the future of conservation.

From Richard Louv’s 2005 book, Last Child in the Woods, to numerous recent studies, taking children outdoors improves school performance, motivation, thinking skills, math skills, life science skills standardized test performance, language-arts development and overall health.

To view some of the recent reports on the benefits of taking children outdoors, please visit these links:


Health Benefits


Pledge to spend time outside


So, if taking kids outdoors makes them healthier, happier, and smarter, what’s stopping you? DCNR provides free and fun opportunities that are right outside your door. Whether it is through environmental education programs, recreational opportunities or just providing open space to run and play, DCNR wants to help connect you and your children to the outdoors.