New Jersey Conservation Foundation
 
New Jersey Conservation Foundation Menu
NJCF Homepage Contact Us Donate Events Search NJCF
New Jersey Land Conservation Organization
Donate to New Jersey Conservation Foundation
State We're In New Jersey Conservation Foundation Blog
Grab a friend and go outside
3/8/2018 Volume XLVIII, No. 10

It’s a beautiful day and you’ve got some free time. Will you spend it outdoors in nature or hanging out with your friends? Don’t answer – it’s a trick question! You don’t have to choose. It turns out that being social is one of the best ways to enjoy nature.

A recent study, “The Nature of Americans,” found that although most folks say nature is a top interest, they don’t actually spend much time outdoors. The majority of adults surveyed averaged five or fewer hours a week outside, or less than an hour a day.

“Time spent on computers and TV towers over time spent outdoors,” said David Case, the main author of the study and the keynote speaker at the New Jersey Land Conservation Rally on March 2 in New Brunswick.

But there’s hope! The best way to attract more people outside, according to Case, is to make nature experiences social.

“Adults don’t like being in nature by themselves,” he said. “When adults talk about their experiences in nature, their memorable moments nearly always involve other people.”

According to Case, most people don’t need to be sold on the value of nature. They already enjoy nature and recognize its benefits. “It’s fundamental to human health and well-being,” he said.

So should you organize a bike ride with your kids, or a bird-watching walk with friends? Yes and yes!

But don’t sit home on your couch if friends and family aren’t available. New Jersey has tons of outdoor clubs, meetups and organized nature events. Joining these groups is a great way to both expand your social circle and enjoy the benefits of spending time in nature.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Join a ranger or naturalist guided walk at a park or nature preserve near you. County parks often provide full calendars of outdoor events, including hikes, kayak paddles, bike rides, nature walks, horseback trail rides and more.
  • Traveling outside your area? Try a state park. Hardly a day goes by when there isn’t something fun and interesting happening at one of New Jersey’s state parks, forests and recreation areas. For a calendar of events at state parks and forests, go to www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/calendar/index.html.
  • Join clubs and meetup groups with a focus on the outdoors. Whether you’re young or old, a novice hiker or an experienced backpacker, there’s one for you. The granddaddy of all hiking clubs is the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), which offers dozens of hikes every month in New Jersey and surrounding areas. The Outdoor Club of South Jersey just celebrated its 50th anniversary, and offers bicycling, hiking, canoeing/kayaking, camping, backpacking and cross-country skiing. In northern New Jersey, a club called the Tristate Ramblers offers a hike nearly every day – even on weekdays, when many outdoor clubs are idle. The New York/New Jersey Trail Conference and New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club also offer outdoor outings.
  • Try specialized groups, like Adventures for Women, the New Jersey Young Professionals and the NJ 1K Club, a “peakbagging” club that climbs all of New Jersey’s mountains higher than 1,000 feet.
  • If you are sitting too much at work, take a “walking meeting” outside with colleagues. On a walking meeting last week, we at New Jersey Conservation Foundation were thrilled to see a large black bear. Talk about getting the creative juices flowing!

For a list of many of New Jersey’s hiking and outdoor clubs, go to www.njhiking.com/hiking-clubs-nj/. To find additional clubs, go to www.Meetup.com, and enter your zip code to find groups for hikes, dog walks, bike rides, mountain climbing, skiing, sailing and more. For New York/New Jersey Trail Conference hikes, go to https://www.nynjtc.org/view/hike and for Sierra  Club hikes, go to http://nj-sierra.mcc.cc/sierra-schedule/NJ-Sierra-Outings-Page.htm.

To read “The Nature of Americans” and see more recommendations for getting people outdoors, go to https://natureofamericans.org. The study is based on interviews and surveys of more than 10,000 adults and children, and offers interesting insights into their views of nature, what draws them outside, and what barriers keep them indoors.

And for more information on New Jersey’s preserved lands – including events to get people outdoors and into nature – visit the New Jersey Conservation Foundation website or contact me at info@njconservation.org.

 

POSTS

Cowtown and rare grassland birds, perfect together

Fight light pollution during International Dark Sky Week

New film tells story of how Petty's Island was saved

Ten years of nipping invasive species in the bud

Welcome spring in a county park

Go for a walk and feel better!

Grab a friend and go outside

Recycle your way to zero waste!

Last call for winter wildlife watching on Jersey coast

Without its 'understory' layer, the forest will collapse

From whale songs to poetry, a remarkable journey

A cleaner, greener New Jersey

Let's keep New Jersey the Garden State, not the Pipeline State

New Jersey's winter hikes

'Trees don't vote' but Byrne saved Pine Barrens anyway

Governor-elect Murphy should set new course on the environment

Protect soils to keep the garden in our state

Clean, plentiful water is New Jersey's lifeblood

A breath of fresh air for New Jersey?

Keep Liberty State Park free and open

A green agenda for Governor-elect Murphy

Life, liberty ... and a clean environment

New Jersey's aging water infrastructure

The land before time: NJ's Kittatinny Ridge & Valley

While bats hibernate, scientists hope for survival

Natural Resource Damages fund new parks and preserves

Save menhaden, a humble but mighty fish

Ballot question approval would lock in environmental funds

Sandy Millspaugh: Conservation Trailblazer

Extreme hurricanes highlight concerns about climate change

'Head start' for corn snakes

Protecting the Highlands - it's the water

When you could walk from New Jersey to Morocco

A bold plan for the planet

New Jersey's energy future at a crossroads

Tiny insect will have a huge impact on New Jersey

Protect New Jersey's Pine Barrens

Enjoy New Jersey's forests!

Maine-to-Florida urban trail celebrates 25 years

Rare plants and animals need help!

Ban offshore drilling and seismic testing off NJ coast!

Summertime and the digging is easy

Is the elusive bobcat here to stay?

NJ water supply plan rings alarm bells

NJ's Piedmont: Formed by volcanoes and erosion

Defend public health and safety in state budget

'Magical' early 17-year cicadas

June and open space: Perfect together

Hit the trails on June 3, National Trails Day

Socializing with nature

ARCHIVE

April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011

CLICK FOR RECENT POSTS


New Jersey Conservation Foundation on FacebookNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on TwitterNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on FlickrNew Jersey Conservation Foundation YouTube ChannelShare      
New Jersey Conservation Foundation           Bamboo Brook, 170 Longview Road, Far Hills, NJ 07931           908-234-1225           info@njconservation.org
home  | nj statewide eventscontact us  |  sitemap  |  privacy policy  |  DONATE