RSVP for OAK Week in September
Please save the date for the fourth annual meeting of OAK, which will be held in Washington, DC on September 14th through September 16th! We will welcome OAK members with an opening reception on the evening of Monday, September 14th. OAK Week will combine OAK’s annual meeting with a Youth Outdoors Event and a Lobby Day on the 15th and 16th. Please mark your calendar and RSVP HERE! More details to follow.
Cities Promoting Access to Nature
The National League of Cities (NLC) and the Children & Nature Network (C&NN) in partnership with OAK and Wilderness Inquiry have embarked on a new three-year initiative, Cities Promoting Access to Nature. The initiative seeks to ensure that all children, with an emphasis on children living in economically stressed communities, have the opportunity to play, learn, and grow in outdoor green spaces. The partners are conducting a nationwide scan of work in this area using a survey that will help us understand the range of strategies, policies, and programs that cities nationwide are using—or considering using—to promote access to nature. We invite all OAK membership to participate and share the important work your organizations are doing to create strong connections to nature for children and families. Please click here to access the survey. This survey is open until Wednesday, July 1st.
YMCAs Across the Country Launch Play, Learn, Serve and Work Summits
As part of its commitment to supporting Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell's Play,Learn, Serve and Work initiative, YMCAs across the country are hosting summits to bring together environmental groups, volunteer/service organizations and youth-serving organizations to engage more children and youth in outdoor experiences.
An inspired Play Learn Serve Work summit in Washington, DC, May 29, 2015
As a part of the initiative, YMCAs are working with the Department of the Interior to develop or enhance outdoor recreation partnerships in a total of 50 cities over four years to create new, systemic opportunities for outdoor play for more than 10 million young people. Recently, Secretary Jewell joined YMCA of Central Maryland CEO John Hoey, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, White House Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson, U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes and local partners to officially announce Baltimore's inclusion in the initiative. Twenty-six of the 50 participating cities will be announced this year, and the following 24 cities will be announced next year. Check out the Department of the Interior’s “Week in the News” video from the Baltimore launch here!
June is Great Outdoors Month
June is a great time to experience the outdoors! Designated Great Outdoors Month by a national initiative, the month has included several exciting reasons to get outside, including National Trails Day on June 6th, National Get Outdoors Day on June 13th, and the Corps Network’s 2nd Annual Day of Service in the Nation’s Capital on June 19th. Find out more at www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org.
Take Action: Tell Congress to Employ Youth to Protect Our Public Lands
Engaging youth, young adults, and veterans in stewardship projects on our public lands will help meet our nation's backlogged maintenance needs, address youth unemployment, and prepare a new generation of young and diverse Americans to be the next generation of conservationists.
Take Action by Sierra Club to tell your Congressperson to cosponsor the Public Lands Service Corps Act of 2015 to put young people to work in protecting and restoring our natural heritage!
New Member Highlight: Washington Trails Association
OAK would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest member, the Washington Trails Association! WTA protects and maintains hiking trails in Washington State, and works on getting youth outdoors through advocacy, communications, and youth programs. Learn more at www.wta.org.
Join OAK For a Happy Hour on June 26th
OAK’s Steering Committee will be hosting a happy hour at the Science Club (1136 19th St NW) on Friday, June 26. If you’re in DC, we hope you can join us! All are invited to attend.