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The Child and Nature Network

In Keystone, as in the nearby ski resort towns of Vail, Aspen and Breckenridge, workers are now forced to commute an hour or more to the communities where they work, due to a lack of affordable, local housing. Similar problems are apparent in places such as Sedona, Jackson Hole, Cape Cod or Lake Placid, where seasonal employment and soaring housing prices offer a conundrum of contradictions that plague both residents and visitors alike.

There are no easy answers to such situations, however with the continued dialogue and efforts of organizations such as the Adirondack Common Ground Alliance; there is an opportunity for creative solutions, dialogue and the advancement of community ideals.

Colorado kids are no different than New York's

Colorado, a state renowned for offering a wealth of mountain recreation and snowsports opportunities, is experiencing the same struggles as New York when it comes to traditional sporting endeavors and the need to get the next generation involved.

At the Child and Nature conference, Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien addressed the assembly to tout a recently enacted, Colorado Kids' Outdoor Bill of Rights. The legislation will ensure that Colorado's children will have access to and an appreciation of the value of the natural world and mountain recreation.

O'Brien explained that the Colorado Ski Country's Fifth Grade Passport Program will continue to provide every fifth grader in the state with a season's pass that can be used at any of the state's 26 ski areas.

The passport program was developed by the skiing industry after studies revealed that if a child does not participate in skiing by the time they reach 5th grade, they likely never will.

However, despite this highly touted, youth outreach effort, statistics show that a vast majority of the state's 1.26 million children never take advantage of the program because they are reared in families with no affinity or involvement in the natural world.

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