OAK AWARDS are bestowed annually on OAK members and decision-makers for significant contributions toward advancing opportunities for children, youth, and families to connect with nature. The OAK Awards program was established in 2016.


OAK 2018 Award Recipients


OAK 2017 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2017 OAK Award Winners!

The 2017 “OAK Tree Awards” were bestowed on a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers including Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Representative Niki Tsongas (D-MA-3), and Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21).

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas

“Thank you to OAK for this award but even more so for your members’ dedicated efforts to encourage kids and families to get outside and enjoy the beautiful spaces that play such an important role in our communities,” said Congresswoman Tsongas. “Together, we must continue to inspire a new and more diverse generation to embrace a healthy, active lifestyle, learn about our country’s natural and historic treasures, and fall in love with our public lands and the outdoors.”

From left to right: Brenna Muller, Jackie Ostfeld, Mel Mac Innis (Sierra Club); Representative Niki Tsongas; Hannah Malvin (The Wilderness Society); and David Molzan (Friends of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge)

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik

“I thank the Outdoors Alliance for Kids for this award, but also for their tireless efforts on behalf of our nation’s children,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “The Every Kid Outdoors Act will encourage our nation’s children to see our beautiful treasures and monuments, learning about our rich national heritage in the process. This will help cultivate their appreciation for protecting our environment and public lands. As the home of the Adirondacks, in my district we know how critical it is to get our children outdoors exploring our parks, and I am pleased to work in a bipartisan fashion with my colleagues on this issue.”

From left to right: Brenna Muller, Sierra Club; Taimur Ahmad, The Wilderness Society; Kristy Anderson, American Heart Association; Josh Tuohy, The Corps Network; Paul Sanford, The Wilderness Society; Representative Elise Stefanik; Jackie Ostfeld, Sierra Club; Taran Catania, National Wildlife Federation; Ralph Forscht, American Camp Association; Alex Toglia, American Forests

Senator Martin Heinrich

“Our national parks and public lands are outdoor classrooms with endless opportunities to learn and make memories,” said Senator Heinrich. “Connecting kids to the outdoors can inspire a lifelong connection to conservation, while reaping all of the health benefits that go along with an active lifestyle. I am grateful for the support and work of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids that helps kids and their families access the rich natural and cultural history on display in our parks, forests, and monuments.”

Senator Martin Heinrich with OAK Tree Award


The 2017 “OAK Leaf Award” winners include the Alliance for New York State YMCAs; the Seattle Every Kid in a Park Collaborative; and Paul Sanford of The Wilderness Society.

From left to right: 2017 OAK Leaf Award Recipients: Kyle Stewart, Alliance of New York State YMCAs; Casey Andrews, Seattle Every Kid in a Park Collaborative; Paul Sanford, The Wilderness Society


OAK 2016 Award Recipients

2016 OAK Leaf Awards
Outdoors Alliance for Kids Announces Inaugural OAK Leaf Awards: REI, The North Face, National Park Trust, Children & Nature Network and National League of Cities honored for collaborative approaches to getting kids outdoors.

From left to right: Jackie Ostfeld, Sierra Club, OAK Chair; Becky Smith, REI; Mikaela Randolph, Children & Nature Network; Priya Cook, National League of Cities; Margaret Lamar, Children & Nature Network; Grace Lee, National Park Trust; Tanya Oliveira, The North Face; Paul Sanford, The Wilderness Society, OAK Vice Chair – OAK Welcome and Awards Ceremony at the Ansel Adams Gallery in Washington, D.C.

2016 OAK Tree Award
Senator Patty Murray of Washington Receives Inaugural OAK Tree Award for her steadfast support for environmental education.


connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors