OAK Partners with U.S. Forest Service
The Outdoors Alliance for Kids and the U.S. Forest Service are partnering to get children and youth outside! OAK representatives joined U.S. Forest Service Chief Thomas L. Tidwell to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, formalizing a partnership to work together on programs that will increase opportunities to connect youth with the outdoors.
"Through this partnership, we have another avenue to act on our long-standing commitment to connect all youth to the outdoors", said Chief Tidwell. Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.
Funding Opportunities for Fourth Graders
The Outdoor Foundation and the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) are launching a unique funding opportunity in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial and the Every Kid in a Park campaign. The campaign will fund local projects through an online marketplace platform that connects funders from the outdoor industry and other sectors with specific park experience projects. Register your project today!
National Park Trust's Kids to Parks Day National School Contest is now open! In honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, NPT's 2016 school contest has been selected by the National Park Service as a Centennial Match Project. The contest will award park grants of up to $1,000 to 100 schools. This contest also supports the Every Kid in a Park initiative!
Land and Water Conservation Fund
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has been reauthorized for three more years. While a permanent plan is needed, the $450 million authorized for LWCF is a near 50 percent increase over the previous level. LWCF provides critical resources for ensuring that children, youth and families are able to spend time outdoors.
Let's Move! Outside
The Y continues to advance the Department of the Interior's Let's Move! Outside initiative to build future stewards of public lands through playing, learning, serving and working. The Y's 50 Cities Initiative has held the first 25 city-wide summits in 2015 to convene local organizations to increase and improve volunteer opportunities. The next 25 cities will be announced on January 11th. The Y is also excited to join forces with OAK member Transforming Youth Outdoors (TYO) to use TYO's resource-based community online platform. Contact a participating Y to learn more about getting involved in your city.
Inspiring a New Generation
Several OAK members participated in the Inspiring a New Generation (ING) North American Summit in November at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The summit convened over 200 stakeholders to determine strategies to Inspire a New Generation in North America, ensuring current and future generations can build life-long relationships with nature. The resulting North American Framework for Action includes 15 initiatives that participants prioritized and committed to carry out in the next five years. The results and progress of the North American Framework for Action will be reported at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii in September 2016 and will serve as a model for other countries.
More upcoming opportunities!
Attention California residents: OAK member U.C. Berkeley College of Natural Resources has created the California Outdoor Engagement Coalition to connect California universities, land managers, nonprofit organizations, and more who care about connecting kids to the outdoors. If you're interested in learning more or getting involved, sign up here!
First Day Hikes: American Hiking Society encourages you - and your kids - to join one of America's State Parks' First Day Hikes! On New Years Day, hundreds of free, guided hikes will be organized in all 50 states. Find a First Day Hike near you!
Are you an OAK member doing great work that you'd like to share in an upcoming newsletter? Let us know.
Happy Holidays and Thank You, OAK Members and Supporters!
As we look ahead to 2016, OAK would like to extend a heartfelt appreciation to all of our members for the incredible work you do to connect youth with the outdoors. Happy Holidays, and we look forward to new opportunities to get kids outside in the New Year!