Tag Archives: Mayor Coleman

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!


OAK Celebrates Great Outdoors America Week and other News

OAK july e-newsletter

OAK July Newsletter

OAK Celebrates Great Outdoors America Week

June 23 -26, 2014 marked the annual Great Outdoors America Week, where 100s of advocates descended upon Washington, DC, to remind our nation’s leaders of the importance of America’s great outdoors. OAK celebrated GO Week by hosting our second annual  Youth and America’s Great Outdoors Event. Dozens of OAK members joined over 400 youth for a festival along the Anacostia River at Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Maryland.

Gina Quote 2photo collage 2 Big thanks to Minneapolis-based adventure travel organization and OAK member, Wilderness Inquiry for running the show. Thanks to them and dozens of OAK members, there was no shortage of activities to keep the 400+ youth active and engaged. Stations included canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, tent pitching, falconry, along with an array of educational demonstrations and games all centered around nature and the outdoors.

OAK Go Week AwardeesDuring OAK’s Youth event, leaders from across the country weighed in on the importance of getting kids outdoors. Speakers included: Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy; National League of Cities President and Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota Chris Coleman; Chief of Staff for EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Gwen Keyes Fleming; Interior Secretary Jewell’s Senior Advisor David Jayo; Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy Peter Rogoff; Executive Director of the Sierra Club Foundation Peter Martin; Executive Director of Wilderness Inquiry Greg Lais; and The Wilderness Society President Jamie Williams.

A huge thanks to all OAK members and friends who pitched in, including American Camp AssociationAmerican ForestsAmerican Heart AssociationAmerican Hiking SocietyAnacostia Watershed SocietyAppalachian Trail Conservancy,Children & Nature NetworkCity of Saint Paul Office of the MayorCity Parks AllianceThe Corps NetworkEarth Conservation CorpsInternational Mountain Biking AssociationIzaak Walton League of AmericaNational League of Cities,National Park Service,  National Park TrustNational Parks Conservation AssociationNational Recreation and Park AssociationNOLS Expedition DenaliNorth American Association for Environmental EducationThe Outdoor FoundationPatuxent Research RefugePrince George’s County Department of Environmental ResourcesPublic Lands Service CoalitionRails-to-Trails Conservancy,  REIRiver Management SocietySierra ClubSierra Club FoundationUrban Waters Federal PartnershipUS Army Corps of EngineersUS Bureau of Land ManagementUS Environmental Protection AgencyUS Fish and Wildlife ServiceUS Department of the InteriorUS Department of TransportationWilderness InquiryThe Wilderness Society and the YMCA of the USA.

Mayor Coleman Quote

OAK Go Week CanoeingGreat Outdoors America Week wrapped up on June 25 at a Congressional reception at the historic Mott House, where The Wilderness Society, Sierra Club and other conservation groups, including several OAK partner members, honored three members of Congress for their conservation achievements: Reps. Rush Holt (D-NJ), George Miller (D-CA) and Jim Moran (D-VA).

It was the perfect way to cap off a successful week of activities including: OAK’s Youth and America’s Great Outdoors Event; the launch of the 50 for 50 Campaign: a series of 50 conservation corps projects in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act; Capitol Hill briefing on building diverse nature-smart leaders led by Children & Nature Network; and a screening of NOLS and Expedition Denali’s film about the first African American team to climb Alaska’s Denali. 

Read more about GO Week and OAK’s Youth event on OAK’s BlogThe Corp Network, the Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society.

OAK supports Urban Waters Federal Partnership

OAK Urban Waters at EventThe Urban Waters Federal Partnership is a partnership of 14 federal agencies being led by EPA, DOI and USFS. The Partnership is working to engage urban populations in restoring their rivers and surrounding neighborhoods, improving access for water recreation, and helping create a network of parks and greenspaces connecting downtown cores with suburban and rural areas, creating opportunities for improving health and wellness. The Partnership provides a powerful means of reaching into our cities and metropolitan areas to engage all residents—especially youth—in conservation and stewardship of nature where they live, work, and play. 

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership participated in OAK’s Youth and America’s Great Outdoors Event. This event was just the start of ongoing collaboration between OAK and the partnership. 

OAK Weighs in on Capitol Hill

Thanks to all the OAK members who signed onto support OAK’s recent policy positions. In the last few months, we’ve urged Congress to support appropriations for programs that get kids outdoors and to support the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act, the No Child Left Inside Act, the Public Lands Service Corps Act and active transportation.

Sierra Club issued an action alert on the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act to its membersFeel free to use this action alert or create your own to weigh in with your members of Congress!

ICYMI OAK Members Have Been Blogging

OAK NRPA Kid CampingKick Nature-Deficit Disorder to the Curb: Celebrating Great Outdoors Month, OAK member guest blog by Jackie Ostfeld, Sierra Club

5 Tips for Camping with Kids, OAK member guest blog by Jessica Culverhouse, National Recreation and Park Association

Thriving in the Great Outdoors, Guest blog co-authored by Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association and Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club

Organizations Come Together to Celebrate Kids and Youth in the Great Outdoors, OAK Member Guest Blog by Tia Watkins, Sierra Club

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

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!