Is this the face of nature's next generation? We hope so

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Mary Forgione

We (heart) Abby, big-time. Why? Because she's the face of the Sierra Club's future -- and a promising one at that.

Abby King, a newly minted 14-year-old, hopes to complete 25 of the peaks on the Angeles Chapter's Hundred Peaks Section list by the end of the year.

She even created this sweet peak-of-a-cake for the 2014 HPS Banquet earlier this year. Awww.

But there's another reason why we applaud Abby and her goals: She's a kid who gets outside -- and gets nature.

In a typical week, only 6% of children aged 9 to 13 play outside on their own. Children and young adults 8 to 18 spend a jaw-dropping 53 hours a week using entertainment media, the Nature Conservancy reports.

"A growing body of evidence suggests that significant changes in childhood have
occurred over the past several decades relating to children’s experiences in nature," the Children & Nature Network says in a 2009 report.
"While there are always exceptions, there are strong indicators of an absence of direct experience with the natural world in many children’s everyday lives."
in a typical week, only 6 percent of children ages 9-13 play outside on their own (1) and kids 8 to 18 spend an overwhelming 53 hours a week using entertainment media - See more at: http://www.nature.org/newsfeatures/kids-in-nature/#sthash.i447C4wX.dpuf

But back to Abby. Clearly she's under the influence of dad Coby King, a Sierra Club leader and hiker. She's a student at Medea Creek Middle School in Oak Park, Calif., who loves hiking, camping, backpacking and cake decorating (clearly).

We need kids like Abby to carry on outdoor traditions and understand nature in ways that create the next generation of stewards of the land. 

Photos: Abby King and her HPS cake (right) and atop Mt. Markham in the Angeles National Forest with dad, Coby (left). Credit: Zobeida Arauz (Mt. Markham)

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