Hello, OAK Members, Partners, and Supporters! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend.
Thank you so, so much for everyone who participated in OAK Week 2022, held May 17-18 in Washington, D.C. Check out a recap below with highlights and photos (thanks to our incredible photographer, Chris Rief!).
OAK Week 2022 Recap
OAK Week 2022 was an amazing two days of networking, celebrating change-makers, shaping campaigns, and having our collective voices heard with decision-makers.
On Tuesday, May 17th, we kicked off #OAKWeek 2022 with a ranger-guided hike in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C.
A Rock Creek Park ranger leads a group of OAK Week attendees on a morning hike.
We then gathered at a pavilion, beginning the day's activities with a land acknowledgement from OAK Advisor Cheyenne Brady, Jonna Brady, and Jen Peacock from the Center for Native American Youth.
Jonna Brady, Youth Leader, Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara (MHA) & Sac and Fox Nations | Center for Native American Youth leads a land acknowledgement.
Youth leaders from across the country then shared their thoughts on how to expand access to the outdoors with top decision-makers at federal land and water management agencies.
Top: Lily Kay, Junior Ranger Tigran Nahabedian, and Robbie Bond of Kids Speak for Parks.
Bottom: Matt Strickler | Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Department of the Interior, Dr. Homer Wilkes | Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Dr. Letise LaFeir | Senior Advisor, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Department of Agriculture,George McDonald | Chief, Youth Programs Division, National Park Service
Then, federal agency and nonprofit leaders shared insights on youth pathways to careers in outdoor access and land & water management.
Aroni Johnson | Environmental advocate, Uriel Llanas | YMCA of the USA Bold & Gold Coordinator, George McDonald | Chief, Youth Programs Division, National Park Service, Chris Hill | Senior Campaign Director, Our Wild America, Sierra Club
In the evening, attendees convened at the rooftop terrace of The Wilderness Society for our OAK Awards Reception to celebrate the winners of the OAK Tree, Leaf, and Acorn Awards.
Reception attendees gather with the winners of the 2022 OAK Awards.
On Wednesday, May 18th, in-person and online attendees participated in a workshop on OAK’s Strategic Framework for 2024, and an engaging session on Funding Trends for Outdoor Access. Finally, attendees headed to Capitol Hill (or to Zoom) to advocate for OAK's policy platform.
An OAK Week Advocacy Day team poses in front of the U.S. Capitol with Congressman Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34).
We'll send more soon, including resources and follow up. If you joined us for OAK Week, don't forget to share photos on social media, tag us at @OAK_updates, and use the hashtag #OAKWeek!