A new Yale University study, partially funded by the Disney Conservation Fund, shows the need to better understand and foster Americans’ relationship with nature and how to provide more opportunities to get outside.

We know children truly benefit from connecting with nature, but it’s no surprise that competing priorities in our busy lives and lack of access to outdoor activities can make that challenging.

The Disney Conservation Fund is committed to helping increase the time kids spend in nature through grants to leading nonprofit organizations working to make an impact for people and the planet. Even within our own Disney parks and resorts, the company’s Animals, Science and Environment team is helping increase opportunities for children and families to connect with the magic of nature, from hosting special offerings at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and Disneynature Presents Party for the Planet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, to creating family and educator activity packets based on recent Disney films to inspire an appreciation for nature.

You can help kids connect with nature and benefit your community at the same time! This month, Disney Citizenship, Disney|ABC Television Group and ESPN are inviting you to vote for park-improvement projects through a grant to the National Recreation and Park Association’s Meet Me at the Park campaign. You can also connect with nature through the National Wildlife Federation’s Butterfly Heroes program, in which you can learn about and pledge to create habitats for pollinators in your own backyard.

“We are proud to have helped support The Nature of Americans study, which reinforces the importance of developing compelling content and experiences that connect people to the magic of nature,” said Kevin Callahan, vice president of Corporate Citizenship at The Walt Disney Company. “It is so critical that we all work together to help the next generation live happier and healthier lives – while inspiring them to care for the environment.”

The study’s authors also concluded, “…the conservation of species, the protection and restoration of habitats, and the provision of healthy streams and clean air are closely linked to human flourishing. A thriving natural environment helps Americans live happier, healthier lives. It helps children develop socially, psychologically, and physically. It creates places where Americans want to live, work, and flourish.”

To read more about this unprecedented study, visit natureofamericans.org, and to keep up with Disney’s efforts to increase the time kids spend in nature, visit Disney.com/conservation.