discover the forest park ann arborI’m not an outdoorsy person – but my kids are. They love exploring the local parks, following animal tracks and picking up leaves and sticks along the path. It’s also a great way to sneak in a little exercise; the kids don’t realize that they’re getting exercise when they’re busy following a trail or tracking a bird in the woods.

If you’re like me and need a little nudge to get back to nature,  DiscoverTheForest.org is a great tool. Search the site to find parks in your hometown or on vacation, filtered by activity or zip code. There are also free download- and print-able outdoor activities that you can bring with you on your next outdoor adventure.

There are even interactive activities to get the kids excited about nature before even leaving the house. My 7-year-old daughter loves taking photos of birds, and the forest snapshot game is great to get her thinking about the photos she can take at the park or nearby arboretum. Then, when we get home, we can upload her photos right to the site’s photo gallery.

Looking for more ways to get back to nature? Join @Cheecker and @kimorlando for a fun #ForestChat Twitter party all about the great outdoors with the U.S. Forest Service at 1 p.m ET on June 26th.

About Discover the Forest

Discover the Forest is a public-service campaign that aims to inspire tweens (aged 8-12) and their parents to re-connect with nature, experiencing it first-hand. The campaign brings to life the joy and excitement kids have when they discover the wonders of nature, helping create interest in their environment and a lifelong relationship with it. Find out more on the campaign website, www.DiscoverTheForest.org, or find them on Fcebook and Twitter.

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