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Readers' Letters: Let our children run 'wild' in the outdoors

Countless studies overwhelmingly conclude that our children need more access to the outdoors and more opportunity for free play. Even so, my son’s school recently banned the game of tag, running and games where the children touch each other at recess.

Health experts warn that because of a lack of exercise, children are increasingly overweight; and because of diminished opportunities for imaginative play, increasing numbers of children are developing attention deficit disorder and other psychological disorders. There needs to be greater awareness of the importance of play and the outdoors to children’s development, how little access to play children now have, and what we as a society can do to improve access to play and the outdoors for children, including at recess.

As concerned parents and citizens, we need to do our part to get our kids outdoors more often. Recently I began to do my part by joining in an outreach effort with a new coalition of children’s and outdoor organizations. They do amazing work to help children have stimulating and rewarding outdoor experiences at school, on vacation, and in your neighborhood.

You can learn more about these organizations and read important articles on children and the outdoors on our Project Wild Team Facebook page, facebook.com/ProjectWildTeam.

April Gutierrez

Northwest Portland

City asks residents to foot bill for folly

I grew up in Gresham and raised my children. My wife is disabled, and I am retired now. There is no way to pay any more taxes; we already pay $6,000 a year.

If Gresham is so broke, why are they spending $1.7 million to work on Southeast Powell Boulevard and Division Street? What a surprise; the staff wants a pay raise paid for by people out of work. They spend a fortune on Rockwood, why should everyone have to pay for their folly and help people there buy houses?

Gary Clark

Gresham