As parents, we want our children to be healthy and happy. In today's world, the allure of video games and passive activities compete with the childhood we knew, and although these activities provide entertainment for the children, it substantially increases the time spent in relative inactivity.
Children are naturally active, and there can be new ways to excite children about physical activity. Individual or small group activities as well as adventure seeking projects have proven effective in encouraging children to be more active. Our new skate parks, splash parks and climbing gyms in use throughout our city are extremely popular and provide exciting opportunities for children to engage their minds and exercise their bodies.
The new MAPS proposal provides an opportunity to kindle this passion and engage our children today in a lifestyle that will serve them well in the future. The habits our children gain in their formative years will likely be with them for the rest of their lives.
With an eye toward healthy lifestyles, there are many things about this MAPS proposal that are very exciting. With more than 50 miles of trails to be used for jogging, bicycling or rollerblading, most every child in our great city will be in close proximity to their own adventure.
In addition to positively inspiring a new generation of Oklahomans, the MAPS proposals provide an opportunity to make Oklahoma City the home of the premier rowing racecourse in the world. Adults will have their chance for a world-class rowing workout and our children will have the opportunity to be inspired by Olympic hopefuls and world-class competition, right in the middle of our city.
In addition to the rowing course, a whitewater rafting and kayak course will be accessible to anyone, ranging from families looking for a sporting activity to serious athletes in search of training. This unique and exciting course will undoubtedly motivate a great number of our children to get off the couch and put a paddle in their hands.
I have spent a great deal of time talking to children about my own mountain climbing adventures. It does not matter if it is a Boy Scout troop, a sports team or a random group of elementary students, I have seen children ask the most pertinent questions and become inspired and ready to meet challenges placed in front of them. A 'yes' vote will help to encourage the children of our city to develop healthy habits that will provide a lifetime of benefits.
By voting 'yes' for MAPS, we can show our young people we care about their future, and that we want them to live long, productive and healthy, lives. A 'yes' vote will promote the type of active and healthy reputation that our children can be proud to be associated with.
"Dr. Doug Beall, Oklahoma City
Beall has climbed the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents.