Screen vs. green: Back-to-nature documentary to be shown in Cumberland

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CUMBERLAND — With technology providing a ever-growing array of activities to keep young people indoors, members of the Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust hope the film they will screen Wednesday, Nov. 2, will remind viewers of the many offerings of the outdoors.

The land trust will screen “Play Again,” an award-winning documentary that focuses on the consequences of a childhood not spent in nature, at the Congregational Church, 282 Main St., at 7 p.m. The viewing is free and open to the public, and refreshments and dessert will be served afterward.

According to a land trust press release, that the average American teenager spends 7 1/2 hours on “digital world” activities – the computer, video games, sending and receiving text messages, and connecting through social media. The trust said researchers recently found that while young people can identify corporate logos they tend to see on media sites, such as Apple, Xbox and McDonald’s, they cannot name common plants around their backyards.

In the documentary, six teenagers from Portland, Ore., are “unplugged” from indoor media activities and are taken on their first adventure in the wilderness, leaving their cell phones and video games at home. The youths learn about the world around them that has been there all along.

“We’re really concerned that kids are spending so much time inside, living in a virtual world,” Penny Asherman, president of the land trust, said Monday. “The land trust is committed to encouraging kids and parents to venture outside and explore some of the natural world that we have protected in our own communities. The land trust works on protecting natural areas for people to enjoy, and we’re committed to getting people out on the land and having fun and enjoying nature with their families.”

Call 699-2989 or log onto www.playagainfilm.com for more information.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.