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Get Outside and Play!

Turn off the TV. Stop the video games. Forget the twittering bells and whistles, and get outside and play!

Have you heard that recently? It’s not a bad idea. Deep Run High School teacher Tee Clarkson knows why. He grew up learning to fish with his Dad and in the process gained a lifetime “love of the environment” -- a love that will outlast any indoor digital goody you can think of.

Tee and his friends decided to do something to help youngsters here in Richmond “get outside and play.” They founded Virginia Fishing Adventures to show kids how to fish and Virginia Outside to get kids to explore the great outdoors. Watch the video below of Tee and friends at a recent Earth Day event -- a beautiful sunny day with shad running on the James -- a wonderful opportunity to teach kids why it matters to love their earth. And that’s what drives Clarkson and his colleagues. “You are going to protect what you love and understand -- no matter what it is,” he says. “Spending time outdoors creates this love of the environment.”

So how can you and your family “get outdoors and play” this summer? As Tee says “go get dirty, explore a path by the river and see what critters live there, climb a tree, take the time to pick up that rock and see what lurks beneath. Being outdoors is a great way for kids to build confidence and to learn to do things they will keep doing for a lifetime.”

Whatever you choose-- fishing camps or general outdoor recreation, either one will work to keep the environment clean, safe and sustainable. And the message remains the same:

Get outside and play!

Article by Dougald Blue, Contributing Writer

Discover more stories like this at Science Matters.