OAK helps launch Every Kid in a Park DC
President Obama's Every Kid in a Park initiative has officially launched! Every Kid will inspire a new generation to get outside and become stewards of our nation's cultural and natural heritage. OAK helped kick off the Washington, DC initiative during our annual gathering in September. The DC launch introduced over 100 fourth graders from Title 1 schools in Washington, DC and Prince Georges County, MD to Rock Creek Park, where they were given passes for free entry to our public lands, waters and shores. We were honored to hear remarks from Christy Goldfuss, Managing Director for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service, Kristin Bail, Assistant Director for National Conservation Lands and Partnerships at the Bureau of Land Management, Tara Morrison, Superintendent of Rock Creek Park, Aaron Mair, Sierra Club President, Jamie Williams, President of The Wilderness Society and Buddy Bison of the National Park Trust. Big thanks to all the OAK members who came together to get kids outdoors!
Photo Credit: National Park Service
In other good news, several OAK members recently helped to launch Every Kid in a Park Seattle.
OAK week in Washington
Last month, OAK members descended on Washington, DC, for our annual meeting and advocacy day. OAK members met with 20 offices on Capitol Hill to urge support for full funding and permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the protection of Transportation Alternatives like walking and biking, and the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act. More than 50 member organizations and over 130 individuals participated in the week's activities.
From left to right: Leighton Yates (American Society of Landscape Architects), Matt Liddle (REI), Congressman Jared Polis, Eugenie Bostrom (Conservation Legacy, Public Lands Service Coalition) and Tyler Wilson (The Corps Network) during OAK's advocacy day.
Land and Water Conservation Fund
In a recent weekly address, President Obama talked about the importance of protecting our planet for future generations, and called on Congress to reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a critical conservation provision that expired on September 30. "For more than half a century, [LWCF] has protected more than 5 million acres of land - from playgrounds to parks to priceless landscapes - all without costing taxpayers a dime." Show your support for the Fund on Twitter.
Let's Move! Outside - 50 cities
To help advance First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Outside initiative, YMCAs are joining with community partners in 50 city-wide summits to facilitate engagement with public land management agencies and other community organizations. The summits aim to increase coordination, collaboration and communication among service providers, and develop strategies to increase awareness of and participation in outdoor programs for youth. We encourage OAK members and partners interested in connecting kids with the outdoors to get involved. Contact a participating Y to RSVP for an upcoming summit (see calendar side bar). See what the Y is up to in San Francisco.