CHICAGO FOURTH GRADERS RECEIVE PASSES TO VISIT PUBLIC LANDS AND WATERS

NPT Logo 4 RP  TNF_Logo_Regular 2012_CMYK_  OAK_Logo_Color_Full_Quality_small  image

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Contact: Grace Lee, 301-706-3407, grace@parktrust.org; Kim Swift, 219-395-1622, kimberly_swift@nps.gov; Brenna Muller, 202-630-1864, brenna.muller@sierraclub.org

Chicago Fourth Graders Receive Passes to Visit Public Lands and Waters

Every Kid in a Park Event at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore connects children with nature

[Chicago] – Today, partners came together to ensure kids across America can experience our national parks and public lands. The National Park Trust, The North Face, and the Outdoors Alliance for Kids joined the National Park Service to co-host an Every Kid in a Park event at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore for 60 fourth graders from the Chicago Academy. This is the fourth event in a special Every Kid in a Park event series hosted in five different cities (NYC, D.C, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston), all funded by The North Face Explore Fund.

“We are proud to support the Every Kid in a Park initiative and programs that expose participants to the beauty and joy of the outdoors,” said Ann Krcik, Senior Director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “Through the Explore Fund grants, we are building a community of outdoor explorers and inspiring people to love and protect the places where we play.”

The students received one-year entry passes to America’s federal public lands and waters through the Every Kid in a Park program, which seeks to connect young people with the great outdoors. By inspiring children to visit their national parks and public lands, waters and shores, the program aims to develop a lifelong connection to these special places shared by all Americans.

“We were delighted to work with The North Face and the Outdoors Alliance for Kids to connect local Chicago 4th graders to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. They experienced a fun-filled day learning about local wildlife, history and outdoor recreation — and the importance of enjoying and preserving these special places,” stated Grace Lee, Executive Director, National Park Trust.

“Turning kids onto National Parks and public lands via the Every Kid in a Park Program charts a course for a lifetime of adventure. I can think of no better gift to our children,” said Paul Labovitz, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore superintendent.

“The Outdoors Alliance for Kids is honored to support the Every Kid in a Park program to connect all kids, starting with fourth graders, with the outdoors,” said OAK co-founder and chair, Jackie Ostfeld. “Too few children have opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural world and programs like this ensure more kids have the chance to visit and learn about our shared public lands, waters and shores.”

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About The North Face®: The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1966 with the goal of preparing outdoor athletes for the rigors of their next adventure. Today we are the world’s leading outdoor brand, creating athlete-tested, expedition-proven products that help people explore and test the limits of human potential. We protect our outdoor playgrounds and minimize our impact on the planet through programs that encourage sustainability. The North Face products are available at premium and specialty retail sporting goods stores globally and we are headquartered in California on a LEED Platinum-certified campus. For more information, please visit www.thenorthface.com.

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 413 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

About National Park Trust: National Park Trust, a 501(c)(3) non profit, is dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, NPT has completed more than 100 land projects benefiting 40 national parks and other public lands in 33 states and Washington, D.C. Since 2009, our Buddy Bison School Program and national Kids to Parks Day have engaged 2,000,000 students across the country with our nation’s parks, public lands and waters (ParkTrust.org).

About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK): OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together nearly 100 businesses and organizations, representing more than 60 million individuals to address the growing divide between children, youth and the natural world. For more information: www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org

North Face Global Athletes and Partners Connect Kids with the Outdoors in “Every Kid in a Park” Event

guest blog by Annie Yearout, Author of OutdoorsyMama.com – originally appeared on outdoorsymama.blogspot.com  

Celebrating “Every Kid in a Park” granting free National Park Passes to all 4th graders nationwide!
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Photo: National Park Trust
The super-tall, super-lean, super-endurance runner Dylan Bowman is bent over a bunch of outdoor gear – warm jacket, rain layer, etc – rolling up each item as tightly as possible and stuffing them into a backpack, demonstrating to a group of wide-eyed 4th graders how to pack a backpack for a day hike.
He leans in and asks this small group of eight or so kids from Hoover Elementary School in Oakland, California: how many of you have ever gone hiking? Two of the eight kids raise their hands. Just two.
 
North Face global athlete Dylan Bowman teaching about packing a backpack.
Photo: National Park Trust
I don’t know why I find that number surprising. I suppose it’s because I live and breathe the outdoors and I’m surrounded by like minded enthusiasts both in my community and online. But once I reach out of my comfort-bubble-zone, I remember the stark reality that most kids in the United States don’t have my kind of access to the outdoors and don’t get to go to parks beyond their local, neighborhood park.
That’s why last week’s event at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, which brought together 60 students from Oakland to enjoy a day of outdoor games and exploring and was sponsored by a powerful partnership of outdoor-kid-evangelist players, is so vital and touching. 
The official 4th Grade Pass to all U.S. National Parks.
Each and every one of these 60 – 4th graders was proudly given a National Parks Pass to hang around their necks, as if receiving an Olympic Medal, for their entire family to have free access to all of America’s public lands and waters for the entire year, an initiative funded by “Every Kid in a Park” which launched out of the White House last year. And to support and celebrate that initiative, The North Face Explore Fund, The Outdoors Alliance for Kids, The National Park Service and The National Park Trust have all banded together to create this event and similar events around the nation.
Teaching a group of eager 4th graders how to set up a tent.
Photo: National Park Trust
Why is this so important?
“Too few children have opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural world and programs like this are critical to ensuring all kids can visit their public lands,” explains OAK Co-Founder and Chair, Jackie Ostfeld. And she’s right. By providing free access to our nation’s great and treasured parks, this initiative helps alleviate a piece of one the barriers, a financial one, and allows more families to play in the outdoors which in turn brings about a healthier, more active population overall. 
Senior Director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face, Ann Krcik aptly adds, “through the Explore Fund grants, we are building a community of outdoor explorers and inspiring people to love and protect the places where we play.” This is key. This is vital. By introducing this giant population of 4th graders and their families to the Parks every year, we are creating stewards for wild places and green spaces for generations to come.
North Face athletes mixing it up in the backpack relay race with some giddy 4th graders.
Photo: National Park Trust
So now we circle back to our super-athlete Dylan Bowman and this diverse group of wide-eyed kids hanging onto his every word. The “backpack relay race” starts and each kid is gleefully rolling up gear and smashing it into the backpack as fast as possible to beat the other team of classmates next to them, racing back and forth, gear and bodies flying everywhere.
It’s this kind of giddy joy that helps tells the story of why getting these kids access to the outdoors is so important and why so many groups are making this their mission.
Let’s all grab our backpacks and jump on board. To the summit!
 
For more conversation about the outdoors find me on twitter, facebook and instagram.
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Fourth Graders Receive Passes to Visit Public Lands and Waters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Contact:   Grace Lee, 301-706-3407, grace@parktrust.orgLynn Cullivan, 415-561-7006, lynn_cullivan@nps.govBrenna Muller, 202-630-1864, brenna.muller@sierraclub.org  

Fourth Graders Receive Passes to Visit Public Lands and Waters

Every Kid in a Park Event at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park connects children with nature

[San Francisco] – Today, partners came together to ensure kids across America can experience our national parks and public lands. The National Park Trust, The North Face, and the Outdoors Alliance for Kids joined the National Park Service to co-host an Every Kid in a Park event at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park for 60 fourth graders from Hoover Elementary School. This is the third event in a special Every Kid in a Park event series hosted in five different cities (NYC, D.C, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago), all funded by The North Face Explore Fund.

“We are proud to support the Every Kid in a Park initiative and programs that expose participants to the beauty and joy of the outdoors,” said Ann Krcik, Senior Director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “Through the Explore Fund grants, we are building a community of outdoor explorers and inspiring people to love and protect the places where we play.”

The students received free passes to America’s public lands and waters through the Every Kid in a Park initiative, which seeks to connect young people with the great outdoors by granting free entry to national parks and public lands, waters and shores for all fourth-graders and their families.

The North Face global athlete and endurance runner, Dylan Bowman, also joined the event to share his passion for the outdoors and lead activity stations. Dylan engaged the fourth graders in a fun warm up and relay race to help inspire the kids to be active and enjoy our natural playgrounds.

“We were delighted to work with The North Face and the Outdoors Alliance for Kids to connect local Bay-area 4th graders to the Maritime National Historical Park. They experienced a fun-filled day learning about local wildlife, history and outdoor recreation — and the importance of enjoying and preserving these special places,” stated Grace Lee, Executive Director, National Park Trust.

“We are excited to launch the second year of our Every Kid In a Park program, and welcome a new crew of fourth graders to San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park,” Superintendent Kevin Hendricks said. “With so many significant National Park sites right here in our local area, I know that these Bay Area youth will be well on the way to discovering their National Parks.”

“The Outdoors Alliance for Kids is honored to support the Every Kid in a Park initiative to connect fourth graders across America with the outdoors,” said OAK Co-Founder and Chair, Jackie Ostfeld. “Too few children have opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural world and programs like this are critical to ensuring all kids can visit their public lands.

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About The North Face®: The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1966 with the goal of preparing outdoor athletes for the rigors of their next adventure. Today we are the world’s leading outdoor brand, creating athlete-tested, expedition-proven products that help people explore and test the limits of human potential. We protect our outdoor playgrounds and minimize our impact on the planet through programs that encourage sustainability. The North Face products are available at premium and specialty retail sporting goods stores globally and we are headquartered in California on a LEED Platinum-certified campus. For more information, please visit www.thenorthface.com.

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 413 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

About National Park Trust: National Park Trust, a 501(c)(3) non profit, is dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, NPT has completed more than 100 land projects benefiting 40 national parks and other public lands in 33 states and Washington, D.C.  Since 2009, our Buddy Bison School Program and national Kids to Parks Day have engaged 2,000,000 students across the country with our nation’s parks, public lands and waters (ParkTrust.org).

About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK): OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together more than eighty businesses and organizations, led by a steering committee which includes representatives from the Alliance for Childhood, American Heart Association, Children & Nature Network, Latino Outdoors, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, NatureBridge, The North Face, Public Lands Service Coalition (a program of The Corps Network), REI, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and the YMCA of the USA to address the growing divide between children, youth and the natural world. For more information: www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org

Fourth Graders Get on the River in Anacostia Park

Guest Blog by Brenna Muller, OAK Program Manager

November 22, 2016

Last week, members of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) came together for our annual gathering in Washington, D.C. to ensure kids across America can experience our national parks and public lands. As part of the week’s events, members of OAK joined the National Park Trust and 40 fourth graders from Wheatley Education Campus DC Public School for a special educational field trip to Anacostia Park. We were joined by partners from the National Park Service, the DC Department of Energy & Environment and the Anacostia Watershed Society.

buddy-bison-line-11-16-16
Photo Credit: National Park Trust

The outing was in support of the Every Kid in a Park initiative. Every Kid in a Park, launched by President Obama, provides all fourth graders and their families free access to all federal lands, waters and shores for the entire school year.

EKIP AWS boat 11.16.16.jpg
Photo Credit: National Park Trust

The fourth graders participated in three educational activity stations. A river boat tour led by the Anacostia Watershed Society was a favorite, as students had the opportunity to get out on the water and learn about the history of the Anacostia River, and enjoyed seeing a blue heron, turtles, and other wildlife.

ekip-event-11-16-16
Photo Credit: National Park Trust

A river walk tour featured a history and ecology lesson of the park and the river. The students also learned about local wildlife during a guided tour of the Anacostia Resources Education Center and Aquarium.  

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Photo Credit: National Park Trust

This event was one of several that OAK members have held in order to help President Obama reach his goal to connect all fourth graders with the outdoors. Earlier in the week, several OAK members received Leaf Awards for their support for this important initiative.

Thanks to National Park Trust, Anacostia Watershed Society, National Park Service, and Department of Energy & the Environment for a fun and memorable outing for both the students and OAK members who participated!

Outdoors Alliance for Kids Announces Inaugural OAK Leaf Awards

For Immediate Release

November 15, 2016

Contact: Jackie Ostfeld, jackie.ostfeld@sierraclub.org, 202-548-6584

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 approach to getting kids outdoors

Washington, DC – Today, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) announced five recipients of the inaugural OAK Leaf Award which recognizes alliance members for their collaborative approach to support OAK’s policy or programmatic goals. REI, The North Face, National Park Trust, Children & Nature Network and the National League of Cities to receive the award during an OAK welcome reception for the annual gathering of the alliance, held at The Wilderness Society’s Ansel Adams Gallery.

Statements of OAK’s Lead Award Recipients

“At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well lived. This is an especially important thought when we consider the daily lives of our younger generations. Unlike years past, it seems we need to make special efforts to assure kids from all backgrounds have chances to explore, play and learn outside,” said Marc Berejka, REI’s director of community and government affairs. “We’ve been an OAK supporter from its beginning, because OAK provides pivotal leadership at the national level.  We appreciate the recognition, and also look forward to continuing our investment in high-impact programs like this one.”

“We are proud to partner with OAK and many wonderful nonprofits like the National Park Trust to support President Obama’s Every Kid in a Park initiative through our Explore Fund grants,” said The North Face senior director of Outdoor Exploration Ann Krcik. “By working together to bring outdoor experiences to youth, we hope to create the next generation of environmental stewards. Thank you OAK for this incredible honor.”

“National Park Trust is very honored to be recognized with an inaugural OAK Leaf Award. The Outdoors Alliance for Kids is a tremendous resource and network that has allowed us to significantly expand our mission of preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. Working together with the members of this alliance, we are able each year to engage tens of thousands of students from Title 1 schools across the country with our iconic parks and public lands, providing transformational park experiences. OAK is an excellent example of the power of partnerships,” stated executive director of the National Park Trust, Grace Lee.

“The OAK Leaf award recognizes the dedication of our seven Cities Connecting Children to Nature pilot cities in their work to enrich young lives, strengthen stewardship of our natural world and achieve equity in American cities,” said National League of Cities CEO and executive director Clarence E. Anthony. “NLC is proud to receive this award on their behalf and continue our significant work together.” The CCCN cities have been working diligently for the past year to plan equitable and abundant access to nature for their communities. “We look forward to seeing the impact of the cities’ work on children, families and communities, and we are honored to partner with OAK in advancing the field of children and nature,” said Children & Nature Network executive director Sarah Milligan-Toffler.

“The Outdoors Alliance for Kids wouldn’t be what it is today without the passion of our members, new and old, large and small,” said OAK co-founder and chair, Jackie Ostfeld. “These awards couldn’t be more well-deserved. I look forward to continuing to work with this year’s OAK Leaf Award recipients to make major strides in the movement to get kids outdoors.”

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About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK): OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together more than eighty businesses and organizations, led by a steering committee which includes representatives from the Alliance for Childhood, American Heart Association, Children & Nature Network, Latino Outdoors, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, NatureBridge, The North Face, Public Lands Service Coalition (a program of The Corps Network), REI, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and the YMCA of the USA to address the growing divide between children, youth and the natural world. For more information: www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org

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First ever OAK Leaf Award Recipients. OAK Week 2016. Photo Credit: National Park Trust

 

 

Fourth Graders, Outdoors Alliance for Kids connect kids with nature

**MEDIA ADVISORY**

November 16, 2016

Contact: Grace Lee, 301-706-3407, grace@parktrust.org ; Brenna Muller, 202-630-1864, brenna.muller@sierraclub.org

Fourth Graders, Outdoors Alliance for Kids connect kids with nature

Every Kid in a Park Youth Event in Anacostia Park

[Washington, D.C.] – Partners of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) are coming together to ensure kids across America can experience our national parks and public lands. In celebration of the Every Kid in a Park initiative, members of OAK will join the National Park Trust (NPT) and 40 fourth graders from Wheatley Education Campus (DC Public School) to visit Anacostia Park for an educational field trip with partners at National Park Service and the District Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE).

The Every Kid in a Park initiative, launched under President Obama’s Administration, allows all fourth graders and their families free access to all federal lands for an entire year. This Every Kid in a Park event will feature a welcome program with speakers from OAK, National Park Trust, the National Park Service, and Anacostia Watershed Society. Following the welcome program, students will break into groups to participate in educational activity stations.

What: Every Kid in a Park Youth Event with 40 Fourth Graders

Who: Outdoors Alliance for Kids; National Park Trust; National Park Service;

Anacostia Watershed Society; Department of Energy & Environment; 40 fourth grade students from Wheatley Education campus.

When: Wednesday, November 16, 9:45 AM – 12:00 PM

Where: Aquatic Resources Education Center, Anacostia Park, 1900 Anacostia Fwy,

Washington, DC 20019

VISUALS: Group photo with 40 fourth grade students and Buddy Bison (mascot). Youth will participate in activity stations including an Anacostia river boat tour, a tour of the Anacostia Resources Education Center and Aquarium, and a river walk to learn about the history and ecology of the park and river.

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DC 4th Graders Get Free Passes to Visit Public Lands and Waters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, October 7, 2016

Contact:   Grace Lee, 301-706-3407, grace@parktrust.org ; Brenna Muller, 202-630-1864, brenna.muller@sierraclub.org  

DC 4th Graders Get Free Passes to Visit Public Lands and Waters

[DC] – Today, partners came together to ensure kids across America can experience our national parks and public lands. The National Park Trust, The North Face, and the Outdoors Alliance for Kids joined the National Park Service to co-host an Every Kid in a Park event in Rock Creek Park for 50 fourth graders from E.W. Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School. This is the second of five events funded by The North Face Explore Fund.

“We are proud to support the Every Kid in a Park initiative and programs that expose participants to the beauty and joy of the outdoors,” said Ann Krcik, Senior Director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “Through the Explore Fund grants, we are building a community of outdoor explorers and inspiring people to love and protect the places where we play.”

The students received free passes to America’s public lands and waters through the Every Kid in a Park initiative, which seeks to connect young people with the great outdoors by granting free entry to national parks for all fourth-graders and their families.

“We were delighted to work with The North Face and the Outdoors Alliance for Kids to connect local 4th-grade students to Rock Creek Park where they experienced a fun-filled day learning about local wildlife, watersheds, and outdoor recreation — and the importance of enjoying and preserving these special places,” stated Grace Lee, Executive Director, National Park Trust.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate our centennial and kick off the second year of the Every Kid In a Park program by welcoming new groups of fourth graders to Rock Creek Park, their national park in the heart of the city,” Superintendent Tara Morrison said. “This is one of many amazing national parks in the D.C. area, and we’re committed to helping as many fourth graders as possible get outside and Find Your Park.”

“The Outdoors Alliance for Kids is honored to participate in today’s DC launch and to support the Every Kid in a Park initiative for fourth graders across America,” said OAK Co-Founder and Chair, Jackie Ostfeld. “Too few children have opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural world. OAK members are answering President Obama’s call to action to connect America’s 4th graders with our public lands because we believe that time spent outdoors leads to healthier kids and a healthier planet.”

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About The North Face®: The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1966 with the goal of preparing outdoor athletes for the rigors of their next adventure. Today we are the world’s leading outdoor brand, creating athlete-tested, expedition-proven products that help people explore and test the limits of human potential. We protect our outdoor playgrounds and minimize our impact on the planet through programs that encourage sustainability. The North Face products are available at premium and specialty retail sporting goods stores globally and we are headquartered in California on a LEED Platinum-certified campus. For more information, please visit www.thenorthface.com.

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 413 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

About National Park Trust: National Park Trust, a 501(c)(3) non profit, is dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, NPT has completed more than 100 land projects benefiting 40 national parks and other public lands in 33 states and Washington, D.C.  Since 2009, our Buddy Bison School Program and national Kids to Parks Day have engaged 2,000,000 students across the country with our nation’s parks, public lands and waters (ParkTrust.org).

About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK): OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together more than eighty businesses and organizations, led by a steering committee which includes representatives from the Alliance for Childhood, American Heart Association, Children & Nature Network, Latino Outdoors, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, NatureBridge, The North Face, Public Lands Service Coalition (a program of The Corps Network), REI, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and the YMCA of the USA to address the growing divide between children, youth and the natural world. For more information: www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org

NYC 4th graders get free passes to visit public lands and waters

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Contact:   Grace Lee, 301-706-3407, grace@parktrust.orgBrenna Muller, 202-630- 1864, brenna.muller@sierraclub.org  

NYC 4th graders get free passes to visit public lands and waters

[New York City] – Today, partners came together to ensure kids across America can experience our national parks and public lands. The National Park Trust, The North Face, and the Outdoors Alliance for Kids joined the National Park Service to co-host an Every Kid in a Park event in Gateway National Recreation Area for 90 fourth graders from Amersfort Public School (PS 119) in Brooklyn. This is the first of five events funded by The North Face Explore Fund.

“We are proud to support the Every Kid in a Park initiative and programs that expose participants to the beauty and joy of the outdoors,” said Ann Krcik, senior director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “Through the Explore Fund grants, we are building a community of outdoor explorers and inspiring people to love and protect the places where we play.”

The students received free passes to America’s public lands and waters through the Every Kid in a Park initiative, which seeks to connect young people with the great outdoors by granting free entry to national parks for all fourth-graders and their families.

“We were delighted to work with The North Face and the Outdoors Alliance for Kids to connect local 4th-grade students to Gateway National Recreation Area where they experienced a fun-filled day learning about local wildlife, ecology, and outdoor recreation — and the importance of enjoying and preserving these special places,” stated Grace Lee, Executive Director, National Park Trust.

“We are excited that Gateway was chosen for this inaugural The North Face Explore Fund Every Kid in a Park event”, said Jen Nersesian, superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area.  “As an urban recreation area, we strive to introduce our local students to the joy of outdoor recreation and to help create lifelong stewards for all public lands.”

“The Outdoors Alliance for Kids is honored to participate in today’s NYC launch and to support the Every Kid in a Park initiative for fourth graders across America,” said OAK Co-Founder and Chair, Jackie Ostfeld. “Too few children have opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural world. OAK members are answering President Obama’s call to action to connect America’s 4th graders with our public lands because we believe that time spent outdoors leads to healthier kids and a healthier planet.”

###

About The North Face®: The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1966 with the goal of preparing outdoor athletes for the rigors of their next adventure. Today we are the world’s leading outdoor brand, creating athlete-tested, expedition-proven products that help people explore and test the limits of human potential. We protect our outdoor playgrounds and minimize our impact on the planet through programs that encourage sustainability. The North Face products are available at premium and specialty retail sporting goods stores globally and we are headquartered in California on a LEED Platinum-certified campus. For more information, please visit www.thenorthface.com.

About National Park Trust: National Park Trust, a 501(c)(3) non profit, is dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, NPT has completed more than 100 land projects benefiting 40 national parks and other public lands in 33 states and Washington, D.C.  Since 2009, our Buddy Bison School Program and national Kids to Parks Day have engaged 2,000,000 students across the country with our nation’s parks, public lands and waters (ParkTrust.org).

About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK): OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together more than eighty businesses and organizations, led by a steering committee which includes representatives from the Alliance for Childhood, American Heart Association, Children & Nature Network, Latino Outdoors, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, NatureBridge, The North Face, Public Lands Service Coalition (a program of The Corps Network), REI, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and the YMCA of the USA to address the growing divide between children, youth and the natural world. For more information: www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org

About Gateway National Recreation Area: A large diverse urban park spanning two states, Gateway combines recreational activities with natural beauty, wildlife preservation, military history and more.  Visitors can hike, picnic, swim, sunbathe, bike, visit the oldest lighthouse in the nation, see an airplane collection and camp overnight, all in the New York metropolitan area.  Gateway is one of the ten most visited national parks in the country.  For information about Gateway’s upcoming public programs, see the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/gate.  To join the conversation about Gateway, like us on our Facebook page:  www.Facebook.com/Gatewaynps.

RELEASE: Every Kid in a Park Program Enters Year Two

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Virginia Cramer, 804-519-8449, Virginia.Cramer@sierraclub.org

Every Kid in a Park Program Enters Year Two

Outdoors Alliance for Kids to get tens of thousands of fourth graders outdoors this fall

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids announced its Every Kid in a Park fall program lineup. Just in time for back to school, OAK members are gearing up to host a series of events and programs to connect thousands of fourth graders with their natural and cultural heritage.

The Every Kid in a Park program is designed to encourage all fourth graders to get outdoors. Fourth graders and their parents, teachers and caregivers can visit www.everykidinapark.gov to learn about the initiative, plan a trip and download the fourth grade voucher for free entry to all federal lands. The program also provides transportation funding support for Title 1 schools to reach kids with limited opportunities to experience our public lands, waters and shores.

“OAK is proud to answer President Obama’s call to connect fourth graders across America with the outdoors,” said Jackie Ostfeld, Sierra Club’s Nearby Nature Director and OAK Co-Founder and Chair. “As our kids head back to school, OAK members are working with schools and teachers across America to get Every Kid in a Park to ensure they have opportunities to play and learn, as they connect with the natural world and each other.”

Announcing OAK’s Every Kid in a Park Back to School Fall Events

September – MayREI is partnering with Outdoor Foundation, Outdoor Industry Association and National Park Trust to ensure every public school fourth grader (over 3,300 kids) in Washington, D.C. has a meaningful national park experience this fall. Additional events will take place over the whole school year.

September – November: Wilderness Inquiry’s Canoemobile Fall Tour, a collaborative of more than 400 organizations, will reach more communities and kids than ever before, visiting New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Jacksonville, Dayton; and Rochester (MN).

September – November: California Outdoor Engagement Coalition is partnering with California 4-H to bring Every Kid in a Park to seven counties throughout the state to prioritize increased Latino engagement. They are also partnering with the National Park Service, Rosie the Riveter Trust, University of California Berkeley and West Contra Costa Unified School District to bring 1,200 fourth graders from Richmond and surrounding cities to the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Homefront National Historic Park.

September – November: National Park Trust, with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and National Park Service, will connect 6,600 Title 1 fourth graders from Ventura County, CA to the Channel Islands Visitors Center. Additionally, in partnership with National Park Service and National Park Foundation, National Park Trust will ensure 5,000 fourth graders from 50 schools across the country have a national park experience.

September – November: Conservation Legacy’s La Plazita Institute’s Ancestral Lands’ Barrio Youth Corps is facilitating urban-agricultural and outdoor educational experiences for fourth graders in collaboration with Albuquerque Public Schools and Albuquerque Open-Spaces in New Mexico.

September 2: In Los Angeles, Sierra Club, the I Have A Dream Foundation and the US Forest Service are hosting 50 students from Boyle Heights in the San Gabriel Mountains. Another outing on October 8th will connect an additional 50 fourth graders to the mountains from the City of El Monte with several partners including Bike SGV, Day One, and San Gabriel Mountains Forever.

September 13: In Washington, DC, REI, Outdoor Foundation and National Park Trust will work with students to conduct an in-depth examination of the condition of the statues in Lafayette Park.

September 16: National Park Trust and the National Park Service will bring 34 fourth graders from Vallejo, California to Muir Woods.

September 23-24: National Park Trust and the U.S. Forest Service will bring 40 fourth graders from D.C.’s Creative Minds Public Charter School and Inspired Teaching Public Charter School to camp on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retiree Home on National Public Lands Day.

September 23-25: National Parks Conservation Association and Youthworks will celebrate National Public Lands Day by taking youth to Canyonlands for a Star Party campout in Moab, UT.

September 24: Appalachian Trail Conservancy is inviting families of all ages to participate in 28 different events being hosted along the trail from Georgia to Maine, celebrating National Public Lands Day.

September 27: In New York City, National Park Trust, The North Face, and OAK will co-host an Every Kid in a Park launch event at Gateway National Recreation Area for 90 fourth graders from Amersfort Public School (PS 119) in Brooklyn. This is the first of five events funded by The North Face’s Explore Fund.

October 7:  In Washington, DC, National Park Trust, The North Face, and OAK will co-host an Every Kid in a Park launch event for 60 fourth graders at Rock Creek Park.

October 14: In Washington DC, REI, Outdoor Foundation and National Park Trust will host students in examining the Declaration of Independence from the view of its author Thomas Jefferson. The trip includes a visit to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

October 15: In Pawling, NY, the National Parks Conservation Association and Appalachian Trail Conservancy are co-hosting the Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Day, featuring guided hikes and educational activities for kids and families.

October 18: In Washington DC, REI, Outdoor Foundation, National Park Trust will help students become modern day explorers as they discover the biologically diverse area around the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Using tools of the past, along with modern day technology, participants will follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark as they inventory cultural and natural resources.

November 2: In Washington DC, REI, Outdoor Foundation, National Park Trust and Wilderness Inquiry will take students canoeing on the Anacostia River. Additionally, rangers representing Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, Frederick Douglas House, and Anacostia Park will teach students local history, ecology, and architecture on land.

November 5: In Mojave National Preserve, National Parks Conservation Association and the Mojave National Preserve Conservancy are co-hosting a star-gazing overnight camping experience for students from Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

November 9-10: National Parks Conservation Association and Wilderness Inquiry will connect hundreds of local students from Petersburg, Virginia, with the Lower Appomattox River.

Date TBD: S.O.S. Outreach provides Colorado fourth graders with a chance to experience the Colorado National Monument through a four day overnight excursion. This year they will host their 22nd annual trip.

A few additional resources from OAK members to support Every Kid in a Park programming:

  • The Outdoor Foundation and Outdoor Industry Association launched Parks4Kids to provide micro grants to teachers, schools and nonprofits to connect our next generation with our nation’s parks and public lands. The campaign’s online platform connects individuals specific school to park experience projects.
  • Transforming Youth Outdoors is providing outdoor educators and teachers with a comprehensive set of tools and resources to support classroom and outdoor education and to provide the tools needed to get fourth graders onto our federal lands and waters.

In addition to our fourth grader events, members of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids host programs and activities for kids of all ages. Visit our website to learn more.

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About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK): OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together more than eighty businesses and organizations, led by a steering committee which includes representatives from the Alliance for Childhood, American Heart Association, Children & Nature Network, Latino Outdoors, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, NatureBridge, The North Face, Public Lands Service Coalition (a program of The Corps Network), REI, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and the YMCA of the USA to address the growing divide between children, youth and the natural world. For more information: www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org

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Photo Credit: National Park Service; OAK helps launch Every Kid in a Park in Washington, DC

The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps: The Future for Public Lands

guest blog by Brandon Nguyen, Sierra Club intern, Summer 2016

Earlier this summer, the First Family visited Yosemite National Park to celebrate Father’s Day and the 100th anniversary of the National Park System in the great outdoors. Standing in a picturesque scene, with the natural legacy of Half-Dome towering several thousand feet overhead, President Obama spoke to a crowd on the importance of our outdoor areas and their unifying qualities.

“The beauty of the National Park System is it belongs to everybody. It is a true expression of our democracy: the notion that we all look after ourselves and our families, and we work hard and we make money, and we have our own homes and apartments, cars and televisions; but then there’s this part of us that is a part of everybody, something we have in common, something we share, a place where we connect with each other, and to connect with something bigger than ourselves.”

Just three days before the president’s speech, I sat in a briefing on Capitol Hill hosted by the Partnership for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC). The 21CSC is an initiative committed to increasing the number of youth and veterans engaged in protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s great outdoors through civilian national service. The initiative simultaneously addresses the $11 billion maintenance backlog of our public lands, connects youth to the healing power of nature, and helps veterans reintegrate into society.

The amazing thing about the 21CSC is that it unites so many different people and organizations towards a common goal. Throughout the country, there are over 190 member organization of the 21CSC that give local undeserved youth and veterans the opportunity to develop professional skills while engaging in environmental stewardship projects, such as preventing wildfires and constructing hiking trails.These environmental service projects are completed through partnerships between 21CSC organizations and local, state, and federal land and water management agencies. Outside of the 21CSC are dozens of organizations, corporations, and private businesses that support the initiative. These supporters include REI, KEEN Footwear, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and other groups that recognize the significance of the 21CSC for our parks and the outdoor industry. And finally, with the 21CSC Act (S.1993, H.R. 5114) we find bipartisan support; it was introduced in the Senate in August 2015 by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), and in the House of Representatives in April 2016 by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA).

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, June, 2016. Photo Credit - The Corps NetworkVermont Youth Conservation Corps, June, 2016 (Photo Credit: The Corps Network)

The 21CSC was originally started during the Obama administration under Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and has grown significantly under Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s leadership. It serves as a modern expansion on President Franklin Roosevelt’s public work relief program, the Civilian Conservation Corps. The national partnership for the 21CSC is working to reach 100,000 new corps members every year by 2018! The Outdoors Alliance for Kids and the  Sierra Club support the initiative to get all kids outdoors learning and active on our public lands.

In June, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on the 21CSC Act, alongside its companion legislation the Public Lands Service Corps Act of 2015. Members of the committee praised these pieces of legislation that aim to provide skills and job opportunities for youth and young veterans. The 190+ member organizations of the Partnership for a 21CSC draw their participants from a diverse pool to develop a new workforce for the future of our lands and waters. Service opportunities are extended to veterans up to the age of 35, especially those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Young people, ranging from 15 to 25 year olds, from non-profit organizations to tribal governments, are also given opportunities to serve and develop their professional work skills.

In the spirit of 21CSC’s work, and to quote President Obama again:“What an incredible idea! What a worthy investment! What a precious thing we have to pass on to the next generation! Let’s make that happen.”

To learn more, visit the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps website and join the Sign-On Letter in Support of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act.

 

connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors