Every Kid Outdoors: Lily’s Story

by Jayni Rasmussen, Senior Campaign Representative for the Outdoors Alliance for Kids & Youth at Sierra Club. (Originally published on the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good Blog; cross-posted with permission) With the coronavirus disrupting daily life and increasing isolation, many people are turning to the outdoors for recreation. The increased interest in outdoor recreation…

Making Sure Every Child Receives the Benefits of Time Outdoors

This blog was produced in partnership with the Rethink Outside campaign. Learn more. Ten years before the COVID-19 crisis and the nationwide uprisings for racial justice, Sierra Club, YMCA of the USA, Children & Nature Network, REI and others set out to form a coalition and address an urgent crisis among America’s children and youth: social disconnection and an obesity epidemic caused by far too…

A Trailblazer

Working for Latino Outdoors, Ruby Rodriguez wants to ensure that others can more easily follow in her footsteps “Today, I’m the person I knew I could be—if given the opportunity,” says Ruby Rodriguez. That includes connecting her community in Fresno, California, to Yosemite National Park. The project is funded by the National Park Trust, and…

Advocating in Challenging Times

This article first appeared in the May edition of Parks & Recreation Magazine We are living in strange and difficult times. At the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK), we know this international pandemic is challenging for everyone. Physical distancing and sheltering in place are particularly difficult for people who know the value of spending time…

Youth Voices: The Outdoors And People

Sweepstakes WinnerEmmanuel O., 5th Grade, Falls Church, VA All Kids Outdoors Scholastic-OAK Youth Essay ContestYouth Voices Blog Series The Outdoors And People The great outdoor spaces, aren’t they beautiful? An outdoor space is any place outside a living space where people can interact, play, and relax. This includes the backyards of homes, playgrounds for kids, sidewalks,…

Youth Voices: The Importance of Outdoors

Honorable Mention by  Indi M., 5th Grade, McLean, VA All Kids Outdoors Scholastic-OAK Youth Essay ContestYouth Voices Blog Series The Importance of Outdoors Children’s outdoor play is rapidly diminishing, we are focusing more on sedentary lifestyles. No one can deny our simple interest with electronics now in the modern era. The outdoors are the original foundation…

Youth Voices: The Great Outdoors

Honorable MentionKatie B., 6th Grade, Ellisville, MO All Kids Outdoors Scholastic-OAK Youth Essay ContestYouth Voices Blog Series The Great Outdoors Swinging, sliding, and climbing at parks are only for fun, right? Not true! Parks and outdoor spaces are not only for fun, but are actually necessary for the world. Parks and outdoor spaces improve our health,…

Youth Voices: How Nature Improves the Brain

Grand Prize Winning Essayby Violet M., 4th Grade, Kalispell, MTAll Kids Outdoors Scholastic-OAK Youth Essay ContestYouth Voices Blog Series How Nature Improves the Brain American marine biologist Rachel Carson remarked in Silent Spring, “There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after…