In an effort to motivate Hispanic families to get outside more often and reconnect with nature, the Ad Council and the U.S. Forest Service have launched the Descubre el Bosque public service advertising campaign, an extension of their English-language Discover the Forest campaign started in 2009.
The aim of this campaign is to increase Hispanic visits to the Nation’s forests and grasslands, as well as to help them develop a love of nature and an understanding of their role in protecting it.
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Latinos make up 23 percent of the under-18 population in the United States yet only 5.8 percent of youth who participate in outdoor recreation are Hispanic, according to The Outdoor Foundation report. This is of startling concern because time in nature brings many physical, emotional and mental benefits to children.
Children spend less time outdoors due to an increase in the number of working parents and the development of new technologies that capture free time indoors. As a result of this limited interaction with the outdoors, many families are unaware of the benefits that nature provides children, including improving their physical and mental health and emotional well-being.
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Research shows that children who play outside have lower stress levels and more active imaginations, become fitter and leaner, develop stronger immune systems and have greater respect for themselves and for others.
The Spanish-language public service ads, produced pro bono by Totality, target parents and guardians of tweens (children ages 8 –12) and feature TV, radio and outdoor material that showcase how nature can provide the ultimate escape from the stress of our daily lives.
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Following three Latino families, each of whom works hard to balance schoolwork, jobs, family time and more, the ads reinforce that these forested destinations are ideal sites for family enjoyment and are often much closer than people perceive.
These efforts will be supported through the campaign website, www.descubreelbosque.org, and a corresponding Facebook page, www.facebook.com/descubreelbosque.
Both platforms include interactive games, a list of activity ideas and a convenient forest locator, powered by NatureFind and GoogleMaps, which allows users to find the closest forest or park to them. The announcement was made today, June 8.