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«Recreation Plan Recreation Grants Branch State Parks Division 4200 Smith School Road • Austin, Texas 78744 © 2012 TPWD. PWD ...»

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Texas Partnership for Children in Nature Strategic Plan, 2010  Access Action 2.1.3 Increase the number of safe and accessible parks and playgrounds, particularly in underserved and low-income communities  Access Obj. 2.4 Support funding for the state park system and local park grants program  Access Action 3.2.3 Support stable funding for land acquisition for publiclyaccessible natural areas in close proximity to population centers

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Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Appendix D – List of Acronyms Appendix E. Survey Results Recreation Providers Survey An on-line survey was offered to the recreation providers between August 15 and September 28, 2011, with the process outlined in the Planning Process chapter. We do acknowledge that the primary limitation of this method is that the survey was conducted as a convenience sample in which invited web visitors had the option to complete the survey. A convenience sample poses risks as it may not fully represent the population of recreation providers in Texas and there was no way to follow up with respondents to determine whether respondents differed from non-respondents.

The survey responses are included in this appendix. For more detailed information on the Recreation Providers Survey, contact the Recreation Grants Branch at 512-389An analysis of the recreation providers input is presented in Chapter 5 Outdoor Recreation Demand.

2012 Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan - Recreation Provider Survey Results Respondents: 253

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Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Appendix E – Survey Results

4. Do you have a system-wide master plan/comprehensive plan for your parks and outdoor recreation sites, facilities and services?

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Appendix E – Survey Results Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan

PUBLIC INPUT SURVEY

An on-line survey was offered to the public between August 15 and September 28, 2011, with the process outlined in the Planning Process chapter. We do acknowledge that the primary limitation of this method is that the survey was conducted as a convenience sample in which web visitors had the option to complete the survey while visiting the TPWD web site. A convenience sample poses risks as it may not fully represent the population of Texas citizens and there was no way to follow up with respondents to determine whether respondents differed from non-respondents.

Additionally, due to the use of the website to conduct the survey, citizens who do not have Internet access could not take part in the survey. Though the use of the Internet is generally high among Americans, and Internet access is widely available through libraries and schools as well as in private homes and offices, it is possible that citizens who do not use the Internet may vary from the web-users who participated in the survey. Also, web surveys do not allow for a way to screen out special interest groups that might use internet blogs to direct group members to the survey to voice their particular needs or concerns.

The survey responses are included in this appendix. For more detailed information on the Public Input Survey, contact the Recreation Grants Branch at 512-389-8109. An analysis of the public input is presented in Chapter 5 Recreation Demand and Survey Results.

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Appendix E – Survey Results Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan

9. In the last 12 months, what BARRIERS (if any) have you or a member of your household encountered when visiting LOCAL PARKS (within 30 minutes of your home).

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18-24 47 1.8% 25-34 434 16.3% 35-44 633 23.8% 45-54 694 26.1% 55-64 613 23.0% 65-74 220 8.3%

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Texas Children in Nature Strategic Plan 2 The Texas Children in Nature Strategic Plan Executive Summary About the Texas Partnership for Children in Nature

Stakeholder Team Report:

Health Education Access Community Marketing Glossary The Texas Partnership for Children in Nature Citations Executive Summary During the 81st legislative session, organizations including the Texas Wildlife Association, the National Wildlife Federation, Texas PTA, the Texas Pediatric Society, and many other conservation, education and public health organizations advocated for the well-being of children through the creation of a formal state plan to enable children to spend more time out-of-doors and to better understand Texas’ natural resources.

In fall 2009, a bipartisan group of Texas legislators requested that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, along with the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Department of Agriculture form a public-private partnership to develop that strategic plan. Over 80 professionals including representatives from state and federal agencies, NGOs, health, education, natural resources, community organizations and businesses, answered the call and formed the Texas Partnership for Children in Nature.

Their discoveries included some sobering statistics:

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This executive summary highlights the major recommendations of the Texas Partnership for Children in Nature.

It focuses on the role of Health, Education, Access and Community in furthering engagement with nature and increasing understanding of Texas’ natural resources. Stakeholder teams of content experts examined relevant issues, reviewed current research and developed recommendations for each focus area. The plan optimizes partnerships and relies on implementation across multiple public and private sectors. The full report includes their analyses of the problem, objectives and suggested action items. The plan will be the focus of a state implementation conference held in Austin on December 3-4, 2010. A report on the conference and implementation strategies will be posted online at www.texaschildreninnature.org.





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Health A growing body of evidence points to the benefits of physical activity and play in nature to children’s physical and mental health and development. More research is needed, but we know enough to act. We envision healthier children and families as a result of increased time spent in nature and more outdoor physical activity.

Utilize healthcare and related professionals to educate families about the benefits of nature to Goals children’s physical health, emotional well-being and cognitive functioning; the importance of nature and outdoor activities for healthy child development; and safety precautions.

Encourage Texas-specific research to describe the causal relationship between nature and children’s health and development, including the therapeutic benefits of nature.

As appropriate, encourage integration of nature opportunities as a health strategy in existing health and childcare guidelines.

Promote health considerations in urban and community planning.

Education Natural resource literacy is the ability to understand, analyze and address major natural resource opportunities and challenges. The goals to achieve natural resource literacy through education includes educating school administrators, educators and future educators; tracking students’ outcomes and experiences; integrating local informal resources; involving parents; and assessing these processes and outcomes. Our vision is that every child in Texas will be engaged in meaningful outdoor learning experiences and achieve natural resource literacy.

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Texas Children in Nature Strategic Plan 6 Access Safety, convenience and multi-purpose design are essential to developing a connection with nature and a sense of place, the building blocks to conservation stewardship. We envision a Texas where children and their families have safe, convenient, sustainable and desirable access to the outdoors, where they can develop respect and appreciation for the natural environment.

Optimize access to natural areas to make them safe and convenient.

Goals Partner with government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, in coordination with youth, to provide increased access to Texas lands and waters.

Encourage creation and expansion of natural areas that provide varied and recurring nature-based experiences.

Plan, develop or expand built environments to include natural areas with interpretive elements.

Community Connecting with nature must be relevant and welcoming to all, including unifying messages, partnerships and efforts that are respectful to Texas’s diverse peoples, cultures and economic needs. We envision that the message “Happier, Healthier, Smarter” Children in Nature is widely and mutually communicated and that communities inspire children to maintain a lifelong connection to nature.

Raise awareness and action among adults and children through consistent and unified Goals communication.

Create community-based regional partnerships throughout Texas to increase “children in nature” activities.

Promote the cultural and economic gateways and benefits through nature-based opportunities.

Implementation Strategies Private and public entities must work together to implement this plan, relying on the leadership of regional collaborations and a state coalition. Implementation strategies developed from a December 2010 state conference of stakeholders should guide actions. The following additional efforts are underway to advance the implementation of the Texas Children in Nature Strategic Plan.

Marketing A unifying message and brand, with audience-specific tool kits, will help communicate and promote this important initiative. Research is needed to establish baselines for the plan’s goals. The Marketing Team will further identify the marketing implications associated with the plan’s strategic goals.

Policy and Legislative Policy priorities include acquisition of natural areas close to population centers, funding for the state parks system and local park grants programs, and support for outdoor and natural resource education at public schools. The Policy and Legislative Team will be working with partner organizations and legislative staff to identify policy responses that will advance the Texas Children in Nature Strategic Plan.

Texas Children in Nature Strategic Plan 7 About the Texas Partnership for Children in Nature Inspired by the benefits nature holds for children, and concerned by the alarming downward trend in children’s fitness, Sen. Eliot Shapleigh and Rep. Donna Howard called for a Texas Partnership for Children in Nature during the 81st legislative session. Senate Bill 205 was championed by the Texas Wildlife Association, the National Wildlife Federation, Texas PTA, the Texas Pediatric Society, and many other conservation, education, and public health organizations. These groups advocated for the well-being of children through the creation of a formal state plan to enable children to spend more active time outdoors in nature and to better understand Texas’ rich natural and cultural legacy.

Although S.B. 205 passed the Senate unanimously and Stakeholder teams formed for each focus area brought cleared House committees, it did not make the final in a diversity of expertise and perspectives. Altogether, House deadline for a vote. To keep momentum on this over 80 professionals from state and federal agencies, issue between sessions, a bipartisan group of legislators NGOs, health, education, natural resources, community tasked the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas organizations and business worked on this plan over Education Agency, Texas Department of Agriculture the course of 10 months. The teams examined relevant and Texas Department of State Health Services to join issues, reviewed current research and explored the with private-sector organizations and together form a strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities Texas Partnership for Children in Nature (TPCIN). for the plan. From this they drafted recommendations for each area. The plan will be presented to the TPW The partnership was charged initially with Commission and then to legislators and their staff developing a statewide plan to promote “healthy in November 2010. The plan will be the focus of a children in a healthy world” by integrating health state implementation conference held in Austin on and school initiatives with increased opportunities December 3-4, 2010.

for understanding Texas’ natural resources and developing outdoor skills, scientific study and outdoor play opportunities for children.

Carter Smith, executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, chaired the effort. In January 2010, a 17-member Texas Steering Committee representing four state agencies, NGOs, health, education and business, convened to establish a work plan and stakeholder teams. The focus areas were Education, Health, Access and Community, and later, Marketing and Policy/Legislative.

Texas Children in Nature Strategic Plan 8 Team Reports and Recommendations Stakeholder Team Report: HEALTH Children are spending less time outdoors in nature, which could be detrimental to their health. There is a growing body of research that clearly supports a positive relationship between contact with nature and physical health, emotional well-being and child development. Some of the strongest research to date indicates that children who spend time playing outdoors are more physically active than those in other settings.6 7 8 9 10

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GOAL 3: As appropriate, encourage integration of nature opportunities into existing health and child-care guidelines as a strategy for improving children’s health.

Objective 1: Work with TEA to identify strategies and opportunities to incorporate nature and health messages into coordinated school health programs.

Objective 2: Incorporate the goals and objectives of the Texas Partnership for Children in Nature into state plans and advisory group recommendations such as the Strategic Plan for the Prevention of Obesity in Texas, Active Texas 2020 Plan, the Early Childhood Health and Nutrition Interagency Council and the Interagency Obesity Council.

Objective 3: Work with the Department of Family and Protective Services to incorporate “nature guidelines” into standards and regulations for daycare and residential childcare facilities.



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