Dwindling attendance

Another report shows attendance in national parks is declining.

Overnight stays in national parks fell 20 percent to 13.8 million between 1995 and 2005 and are down another 4.3 percent for the first eight months of 2006. “

Though the article cites a slumping economy, higher gas prices, busy schedules and changing demographics as possible causes, it also notes a previous study by The Nature Conservancy that I mentioned about a month ago. That study blamed “video games, home movie rentals, going out to movies, Internet use,” as well as gas prices.

When I commented on that study, I looked for a deeper root to the problem. This recent article does as well and reaches a similar finding.

”’Parents are scared to death of stranger danger, primarily,’ said Richard Louv author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.”

In truth, there are probably dozens of reasons why, as a society, we aren’t spending as much time in the outdoors as we once did.

I think Winehiker, in the comments to my previous post, sums it up pretty well:

“We’ve failed to honor the relationship with Nature that we once enjoyed.”


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