At my workshop in Sweden, I just attended an interesting presentation by Tom Berry from University of Minnesota-Duluth about friluftsliv. In Sweden, "the concept friluftsliv refers to a tradition characterized by respect and care for the environment along with an active physical involvement with the natural world." He is testing the significance of having outdoor recreation in Swedish students’ feelings of environmental connectedness, yet finds that increased environmental connectedness is not highly correlated with environmentally friendly individual behavior. See his research here. There is an interesting comparison to be made here between Swedish friluftsliv and allemansrätten and the American conservation movement and the public trust doctrine, and what role, if any, new initiatives in childhood outdoor education programs in both countries should play.

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