In this session, participants will hear about strategies for increasing children's access and connection to nature, through a national program, a regional program and two local programs. Speakers will share tools, techniques, and programs that connect urban children with the outdoors to create a positive, fun and comfortable experience for those with limited exposure.
Great Outdoors Colorado will talk about the 15 "Generation Wild" coalitions they've mobilized in cities around Colorado, who work with residents to provide resources to youth and families, especially those without equal access to the outdoors, creating places to play in the outdoors, programs that make the outdoors come alive, and pathways to careers in the outdoors. Children and Nature Network will talk about the Natural Leaders Legacy Camps, which convene young leaders, training them in community organizing, leadership development, and using personal narrative to create change. This model illustrates the power of training and empowering young leaders close to home and the opportunity to work with local organizations to connect and support youth in their communities and regions. A representive from Red Mountain Park in Birmingham will talk about local partnerships with the public school system and a local education foundation to ensure urban youth have meaningful access and engagement in nature. Detroit Outdoors is taking engagement in nature to a new level through urban camping.Program staff from Detroit Outdoors Collaborative will share the ways they are connecting families to their parks through overnight camping experiences in the city.