Tag Archives: ECHO

Action on ECHO, OAK Education Pillar, and other news

Outdoor Alliance for Kids

OAK October 2014 Newsletter

OAK ECHO Across America Webinar

ECHO ToolkitOn October 6, OAK’s State and Local Action team lead a webinar on OAK’s ECHO (Every Child Healthy Outdoors) Across Americainitiative.  32 participants joined us for the webinar to learn about the initiative and how to utilize the ECHO Across America Toolkit.

Interested in joining OAK’s State and Local Action team to advocate for ECHO Across America? Contact Alyssa today!

Missed the webinar? A recording of the webinar is now available on OAK’s website.


Action on ECHO 

ECHO Across Albuquerque:

OAK through Conservation Legacy has teamed up with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s new urban wildlife refuge, Valle de Oro to pilot ECHO Across America in Albuquerque. US Fish & Wildlife Service provided $25,000 to support this initiative. An AmeriCorps VISTA will work full-time for one year to coordinate community efforts to facilitate activities in the ECHO Toolkit and document the lessons learned.

Boy playing tagNatural Leaders trained on ECHO Across America Toolkit:

The Children & Nature Network trained diverse, young leaders at their 3rd annual Natural Leaders Network Legacy Camp from July 20-25 at the USFW National Conservation Training Center. Three Natural Leaders from the Place Matters Project were trained to lead an ECHO assessment in their communities (Chicago, Baltimore and Cuyahoga) to discuss strategies with leaders on actions to get kids active outdoors.

ECHO Across America presented at NAAEE Conference:

Alliance for Childhood, National Wildlife Federation and North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) conducted a joint workshop on OAK and the ECHO Across America initiative at the 43rd NAAEE Conference in Ottawa, Canada. 40 participants attended the workshop to learn more on ECHO!

Thanks Alliance for Childhood, Children & Nature Network, Conservation Legacy, NAAEE,NWF, the Place Matters Project, and Valle de Oro Wildlife Refuge for helping OAK get ECHO Across America!


 OAK Education Pillar

OAK Education PillarEducation, one of OAK’s three policy pillars, supports initiatives that provide children and youth with opportunities to learn about — and in — the great outdoors. Through OAK’s education pillar goals, OAK has taken a position to support:

Learn more about OAK’s Education pillar, and contact Alyssa to join OAK’s National Policy Action Team to get involved in developing and implementing OAK’s policy priorities.


OAK Girl OutsideWarm Welcome to OAK’s Newest Members

We are delighted to share that several new members have joined OAK’s membership.

Welcome: American Forests, Discover Outdoors Foundation,Hipcamp, and Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation.


 More than S’mores   

The Girl Scouts Research Institute just released a new report, More Than S’mores: Successes and Surprises in Girl Scouts’ Outdoor Experiences (2014) that found that girl significantly benefit from time spent outdoors. The report highlights that girls who regularly spend time outdoors surpass their peers in environmental stewardship, more readily seek challenges, and are better problem solvers —all important leadership traits!

Read more about the benefit of outdoor experiences for girls.


Share your stories

OAK White House PhotoOne of the key takeaways from OAK’s Annual Membership Meeting is that members want to know more about other members events, activities, success stories and lessons learned so that we can better work together to get kids outdoors!  

OAK’s monthly newsletter, blog and social media accounts are a great way to share your organization’s experiences with getting kids outdoors with other OAK members.

Share your stories with OAK today!


OAK Upcoming Events Calendar

November 6-8, 2014 Outdoors Empowered Network’s National Summit

Is your organization hosting a conference or event that you would like featured on OAK’s event calendar? Submit your request now!


 Help Us Grow OAK

Do you know another business or organization that share’s OAK’s mission to expand the number and quality of opportunities for children, youth and families to connect with the outdoors? Encourage them to become a member and refer them to our Join OAK page!

OAK Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day, ECHO Webinar and other news

Outdoor Alliance for Kids

OAK September 2014 Newsletter

OAK Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day – September 8-9, 2014

OAK Advocacy Day 2014OAK’s Annual Membership Meeting in Washington, DC was a huge success! OAK members traveled from across the country to attend the meeting to share ideas and discuss how best to advance OAK’s goals. We were fortunate to have in attendance members from the FICOR (Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation) working group to lead a session on shaping an action plan with OAK that will result in more children and youth outdoors. We look forward to turning all the great ideas generated by our members into action.

The passion and commitment you shared during our meeting was overwhelming and I am so thankful to each and every one of you for bringing your energy and ideas to the table. It is because of the collective work and collaborative nature of this group that more and more kids and youth will have opportunities to improve their health by getting outdoors.    – Jackie Ostfeld of the Sierra Club and OAK’s Chair

During the OAK membership meeting, OAK co-founder and steering committee member REI announced another $30,000 commitment to advance OAK’s overarching goals. Thank you, REI!

On September 9th, OAK members took on Capital Hill and participated in 20 meetings with members of Congress and their staff to discuss a suite of bills to get youth active outdoors.  For a complete list of policy positions, take a look at OAK’s lobby leave behind, which covers Active Transportation and No Child Left Inside, Healthy Kids Outdoors, and Public Lands Service Corps.  Thanks to all of OAK members who participated and to everyone who signed onto OAK’s legislative agenda.


  SAVE THE DATE: ECHO Across America Toolkit Webinar 

OAK Go Week Collage

Just Launched! OAK’s ECHO (Every Child Healthy Outdoors) Across America Toolkit. OAK’s ECHO Across America Toolkit provides a series of resources and templates to:

  • Convene a meeting of leaders of organizations in your state or city,
  • Conduct an assessment of your state or city’s existing children, youth and families and the outdoors policies and initiatives,
  • Set goals for policies that your governor or mayor can adopt,
  • Launch a campaign to get your governor or mayor working on this policy agenda.

The goal of OAK’s ECHO Across America initiative is to bring state and local leaders together to launch a comprehensive multi-sector plan to get more kids and families outdoors.

Join us for a webinar on Monday, October 6th from 3:00pm – 4:30pm ET, where members of OAK will present the toolkit, share local success stories and discuss ways in which you and/or your organization can lead or get involved with ECHO in your city/state.  Please use this link to register for the webinar on October 6th!

Please help us get the word out by sharing this announcement with colleagues and coalitions with whom you work!


Active Transportation Options Provide Youth and Families Access to Safe Connections to the Outdoors

OAK Girl BikingNearly three-out-of-four adolescents do not currently get the recommended amount of aerobic exercise and strength training each week and studies have also found that building bike and pedestrian trails reduces health care costs associated with physical inactivity. For every dollar invested in building these trails, nearly $3 in medical cost savings may be achieved. 

All Americans, particularly children, youth, and those who have no other independent means of mobility should have access to transportation options that are safe, accessible, connected to parks and public lands, and promote physical activities such as biking and walking. Supporting these goals when designing transportation infrastructure is critical to creating more livable and active communities, and improving public health. 

MAP-21 is scheduled to expire at the end of May 2015. Reauthorization of MAP-21 provides a critical opportunity to strengthen our investments in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. 

Specifically, OAK supports a reauthorization of MAP-21 that: 

  • Maintains funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).
  • Provides more control of TAP funding to local communities.
  • Allows an 80/20 matches across all TAP projects instead of to each individual project.

To further support the reauthorization positions, OAK supports the following legislation:

  • Safe Streets Act [H.R. 2468 and S. 2004]
  • New Opportunities for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Financing Act [H.R. 3978]

Read more about OAK’s position on active transportation and other policies to get kids and youth outdoors. 


Bring Nature Play to Every Community

OAK Nature PlayThe National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Learning Initiative releasedNature Play & Learning Places: Creating and Managing Places Where Children Engage with Nature, an illustrated guide for bringing nature play areas to children in every community. The guide explains how to plan, design, and manage nature play areas, so kids can connect with nature at everyday places like parks, schools, and childcare centers. 

Most children’s playgrounds are metal, plastic, concrete and devoid of nature. These guidelines show how to create a new type of play area with natural materials (Trees! Flowers!) so children and families have an integrated experience with wildlife and nature everywhere in their community. Two chapters are devoted to the management, maintenance, and risk management of this type of community space.   

Decoding the human genome was impressive. The internet has been transformative. Big data are amazing. But a child playing in the woods? That simple, time-honored image is at once magical, and powerful and inspiring.   –  Howard Frumkin, M.D., Dr. Ph., from the Forward to Nature Play and Learning Places

To download and read the full text of the guidelines, visit www.natureplayandlearning.org, and please share the resource with your networks.


Register Today – Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day 

OAK IMBA TKMBD

International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and their members around the world are excited to celebrate the eleventh-annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day (TKMBD) on Saturday, October 4, 2014. The event offers a grassroots celebration of play on two wheels. Events range in size and scope from community-wide events to neighborhood outings hosted by a couple of families.

Registration is open if you would like to have your event featured on the TKMBD calendar, map and receive a care kit with bike plates, stickers, snacks and more.

To learn more about TKMBD, visit IMBA’s event website.


OAK Nature Play 2ICYMI OAK Members Have Been Blogging

Nature Play Coming to Every Community by Allen Cooper, National Wildlife Federation

Keys to Keeping Your Outdoor Classroom by Susan Wirth, Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and the Arbor Day Foundation

Want to contribute to OAK’s blog or social media platforms? We want to hear from you. Submit your request now!

Are you missing OAK’s blogs when they are posted? Be sure to subscribe to follow OAK’s blog today! 


OAK Upcoming Events Calendar

September 16-18, 2014 Wilderness Week
September 22, 2014 Partnership for 21CSC Meeting
September 27, 2014 ATC’s Family Hiking Day
September 27, 2014 National Public Lands Day
October 4, 2014 IMBA’s National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day
October 8-11, 2014 43rd NAAEE Conference

Is your organization hosting a conference or event that you would like featured on OAK’s event calendar? Submit your request now!


Help Us Grow OAK

Do you know another business or organization that share’s OAK’s mission to expand the number and quality of opportunities for children, youth and families to connect with the outdoors?

Encourage them to become a member and refer them to our Join OAK page

Join us for OAK’s ECHO Across America launch webinar!

Outdoor Alliance for Kids

Mark your calendar: Monday, October 6, 2014 from 3:00 – 4:30 PM ET

Please join the Outdoors Alliance for Kids for the launching of our new Every Child Healthy Outdoors (ECHO) Across America Toolkit.

OAK’s ECHO Across America Toolkit provides a suite of resources to advance opportunities to connect children, youth and families with the outdoors at the state and local level. The goal of OAK’s ECHO Across America initiative is to bring state and local leaders together to launch a comprehensive multi-sector plan to get more kids and families outdoors. The toolkit contains templates to convene a meeting of leaders of organizations in your state or city, conduct an assessment of your state or city’s existing children, youth and families and the outdoors policies and initiatives, set goals for policies that your governor or mayor can adopt, and launch a campaign to get your governor or mayor working on this policy agenda.

Please mark your calendar to participate in the ECHO Across America webinar on Monday, October 6, 2014 from 3:00 – 4:30 PM ET, where members of OAK will present the toolkit, share local success stories, and highlight different ways in which you and/or your organization can lead or get involved with ECHO in your city or state.

Help us get the word out and invite your colleagues, coalition partners, affiliates and other members of your network to join the webinar. 

Register today at http://sc.org/OAK-ECHO-Webinar!

Every Child Healthy Outdoors (ECHO) Across America, Secretary Jewell Announces Award for Wildlife Refuge, and Other News

Outdoor Alliance for Kids

OAK August 2014 Newsletter

SAVE THE DATE: Every Child Healthy Outdoors (ECHO) Across America Toolkit Webinar 

We are so pleased to announce the launching of OAK’s Every Child Healthy Outdoors (ECHO) Across America Toolkit.

OAK Kids OutsideOAK’s ECHO Across America Toolkit  provides a series of resources and templates to convene a meeting of leaders of organizations in your state or city, conduct an assessment of your state or city’s existing children, youth and families and the outdoors policies and initiatives, set goals for policies that your governor or mayor can adopt, and launch a campaign to get your governor or mayor working on this policy agenda. The goal of OAK’s ECHO Across America initiative is to bring state and local leaders together to launch a comprehensive multi-sector plan to get more kids and families outdoors.

Please join us for a webinar on Monday, October 6th from 3:00pm – 4:30pm ET, where members of OAK will present the toolkit and share local success stories. The webinar will also discuss ways in which you and/or your organization can lead or get involved with ECHO in your city/state. 

Please save the date to join us for this webinar and invite colleagues, affiliates or members of your network who may also be interested in learning about ECHO. More information will be included in OAK’s September Newsletter, stay tuned!


CDC’s 2014 State Indicator Report on Physical Activity is now available

OAK Go Week 2The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just released the 2014 State Indicator Report on Physical Activity.

According to the report, only 27.1% of youth in the United States are meeting the national physical aerobic activity guidelines, which call for 60 minutes of moderate- or vigorous- intensity physical activity daily. In some states, like Texas, less than one-fifth of young people are meeting these guidelines.

Unfortunately, these numbers are less surprising when coupled with the fact that most Americans simply do not live within walking distance of a park. According to the state by state report, only 39.2% of the U.S. population lives within a half mile of a park. (If you want to see how your city fares on park access, look no further than the Trust for Public Land’s Park Score, which ranks cities on park acreage, access, investments and other metrics.) The proximity and safety of parks are increasingly being recognized as a contributing factor to the overall health of a community, yet many of our children don’t have basic neighborhood access.

Help us turn these statistics around and attend OAK’s webinar to learn how you and your organization can help OAK get Every Child Healthy Outdoors (ECHO) Across America. Read more in the latest blog by OAK’s Chair, Jackie Ostfeld.

CDC Guidelines Youth and Children Physical Activity
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, 2014. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014.

OAK receives letter of support from the National League of Cities 

OAK recently received a nice note from Mayor Chris Coleman of Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Mayor Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City, Utah, the President and President-Elect of the National League of Cities, in response to our recent letter introducing ECHO Across America.  

“On behalf of the National League of Cities (NLC), we thank you for reaching out on the critical issue of connecting children to nature and the great outdoors. We applaud the leadership and work of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) and appreciate the deep commitment that its members have made to lift up and advance this important agenda.”

OAK Mayor ColemanThank you to all OAK members who signed on to support ECHO. If your organization is interested in getting more involved with OAK’s work on ECHO, please consider joining OAK and the State and Local Action Team list-serve.  And remember to save the date for our October 6th webinar on ECHO Across America.


Outdoor Recreation is fun, but is also providing jobs and income

The Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation (FICOR) just released a new report, Outdoor Recreation: Jobs and Income that highlights the economic value of preserving America’s great outdoors. America’s public parks are important for connecting youth, children and families with the great outdoors, but it’s also a multi-billion dollar industry. According to the report, in 2012, “Outdoor recreationists made more than 938 million visits to Federal lands and waterways, spending $51 billion and supporting 880,000 jobs.” 


Secretary Jewell awards Southern California Refuge $1M to Engage Urban Communities

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex will receive $1 million in funding to engage youth and urban communities in outdoor recreation and conservation. The complex’s proposal to create the “SoCal Urban Wildlife Refuge Project” is the first to win funding through a national competition launched earlier this year by US Fish & Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. According to Ashe, “It will create new and tangible opportunities for urban residents, particularly youth, to experience the outdoors and everything the natural world has to offer in a real, hands-on way”  

Congratulations to the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex!


ICYMI OAK Members Have Been Blogging

OAK Hipcamp photoCamping Made Easy, OAK Member Guest Blog by Eric Bach and Irene Lam from Hipcamp

Time to Create an ECHO Across America: Every Child Healthy Outdoors, OAK Member Guest Blog by Jackie Ostfeld of the Sierra Club

Are you missing OAK’s blogs when they are posted? Be sure to subscribe to follow OAK’s blog today!

 


OAK Upcoming Events Calendar

September 16-18, 2014 Wilderness Week
September 27, 2014 ATC’s Family Hiking Day
September 27, 2014 National Public Lands Day
October 4, 2014 IMBA’s National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

Help Us Grow OAK

Do you know another business or organization that share’s OAK’s mission to expand the number and quality of opportunities for children, youth and families to connect with the outdoors? Encourage them to become a member and refer them to our Join OAK page!