Pledging to get Every Kid in a Park
OAK (along with dozens of OAK members) have taken a pledge to get Every Kid in a Park, and we are excited to be a partner on this campaign. Our efforts were recognized in a White House Fact Sheet announcing commitments to get nearly half a million kids outdoors.
4th Graders in Colorado National Monument (Photo Credit: SOS Outreach)
During National Park Week last month, the White House joined OAK and several partners to kick off the Baltimore Every Kid in a Park initiative with 200 fourth graders at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.
In other exciting news, REI announced a partnership with the Outdoor Foundation, Outdoor Industry Association, The Conservation Fund, National Park Trust and DC Mayor Bowser to provide park experiences to every public school 4th grader in DC this year!
SOS Outreach is providing Colorado 4th graders with a chance to experience the Colorado National Monument through a four day overnight excursion trip, and held its last Winter programming day at Arapahoe Basin on May 14th, allowing the non-profit to implement multi-seasonal programming. Meanwhile, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy along with the U.S. Forest Service and partners hosted a Forest for Every Classroom workshop to provide 4th grade teachers in Atlanta with resources and methods for teaching outdoors.
Finally, check out this great blog by The Wilderness Society about the importance of getting Every Kid in a Park in 2016!
OAK is supporting Every Kid in a Park by promoting the initiative broadly and encouraging our 85+ members to help do what they do best - to get kids outdoors! We are capturing the breadth and depth of what OAK members are doing and will soon be announcing a Summer line-up of events. Please let us know about your upcoming events by filling out this survey!
Let's Move! Outside - 50 Cities Update
The First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Outside initiative is in its second year and going strong. In 2015, OAK Steering Committee member the YMCA convened over 450 organizations in 25 cities to increase coordination, communication and collaboration among service providers to connect young people with the great outdoors.
Photo: Let's Move! Outside launch in Anchorage, Alaska.
The initiative is in the process of launching the next 25 cities. Nine cities were launched in April: Birmingham, AL; Tampa, FL; Oklahoma City, OK; San Diego, CA: San Juan, PR; Houston, TX; Phoenix, AZ; Nashville, TN; and Newark, NJ. The final launches are: Wichita, KS (5/17); Kansas City, MO (5/19); Columbus, OH (5/24); Austin, TX (5/26); Providence, RI (6/6); Richmond, VA (6/7); Virginia Beach, VA (6/8); Indianapolis, IN (6/15); Pittsburgh, PA (6/16), Milwaukee, WI (6/22); and Boise, ID (6/23). To join a launch event or for more information, click here.
National Parks BioBlitz and Kids to Parks Day
The National Parks BioBlitz is happening May 16 - 22! Over 100 parks across the country are hosting a BioBlitz to discover the biodiversity of of our parks.
The National Parks BioBlitz coincides with Kids to Parks Day on May 21, which is another great opportunity to get kids outside! The 6th Annual Kids to Parks Day headed by National Park Trust will feature events across the country, and a record number of kids and families have signed up to celebrate the day. Find an event near you!
Connecting Kids with the Outdoors in Washington
Governor Jay Inslee announced more than $940,000 from No Child Left Inside grants will be awarded to programs across Washington state that will help connect thousands of children with the outdoors. The grants target at-risk youth and focus on programs that provide outdoor environmental, agricultural and other natural resource-based education and recreation programs.
Is Nature Deficit Disorder real?
OAK's Chair Jackie Ostfeld participated in a Sustainability Defined podcast (episode #4) to discuss "nature deficit disorder" and the value of getting kids outside. Check it out!
Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Park Service (NPS) have created "The Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook". This new tool is designed to assist communities in incorporating public health considerations in the development and improvement of a park or trail.