Great outdoors month should be celebrated year round
by U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)
There is nothing like the roar of the New River or Gauley Rivers. The tug of a fishing line that’s come alive with the bite of a trout. A gentle breeze dancing along a trail at Cranberry Glades.
There is nothing as majestic as being among the mountains, rivers and forests in West Virginia. It’s the greatest place in the world to be outdoors.
But there is more to being outside. It’s the adrenaline rush from activity when you’re whitewater rafting or the peacefulness of a day spent fly fishing. It’s about being healthy and having a better quality of life.
Improving the health and well-being of West Virginia’s children and families is at the core of everything I fight for in the Senate. Just recently, I called on one of the top children’s cable television networks, Nickelodeon, to ban ads that promote and sell junk food to kids.
But that’s just once piece of the puzzle. And, sadly, West Virginia ranks at or near the bottom in many important health indicators – like physical activity and eating the fresh fruits and vegetables that help stave off deadly chronic diseases.
There has never been a more important time for us to work hard, every day, to care for our children and families. But a simple step we could all take is to make a pledge to get outside more. Go for a bike ride. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Spend some time fishing, or an overnight trip to one of our amazing state. These activities are so important.
While June is coming to a close, and with it the official celebration of Great Outdoors Month, I encourage all West Virginians to take advantage of the majesty of our state — it’s good for the heart and the soul.
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