Teddy Bear Picnic encougares families to enjoy parks

  • Friday, February 22, 2013

The Charleston Parks Conservancy is holding the Teddy Bear Picnic to encourage families to enjoy the great outdoors. PHOTOS PROVIDED

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has doubled in children and tripled in teens in the last 30 years. A report from the National Wildlife Federation finds children spend half as much time outside as they did 20 years ago and more than six hours a day connected to electronic media.

The result is a something author and founder of the Children & Nature Network Richard Louv wrote about in his book, “Last Child in the Woods.” Louv coined the term “nature deficit disorder,” giving a name to the very real disconnect between children and the outdoors.

In an effort to connect children and families to nature, the Charleston Parks Conservancy is once again hosting its annual Teddy Bear Picnic. This free event encourages families to get outside and take advantage of Charleston’s vast network of more than 120 parks and green spaces.

The fourth annual Teddy Bear Picnic is 1-3:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 10 in Hampton Park. The event is rain or shine. Activities include face painting, seed planting, storytelling, cookie decorating, crafts and a Teddy Care Station for “injured” bears. John Cusatis will provide music and other entertainment will include dancing and hula hooping. Food will be available for purchase or families are welcome to bring a picnic. The afternoon wraps up with a Teddy Bear parade.

“The entire mission of the conservancy is connecting people to their parks and what better way to do that than with a family friendly picnic in the park,” said Neves Richards, volunteer director for the conservancy. “The purpose of the Teddy Bear Picnic is to provide a free opportunity for children to see how much fun it can be to spend time outdoors. We hope in addition to creating a last memory, we’re instilling in children a love of the outdoors and a lifelong connection to parks.”

For more information or to volunteer at the event, contact Neves Richards at neves@charlestonparksconservancy.org or call 331-4PARKS2.

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