Choose Outdoors Receives Forest Service Award

Choose Outdoors and National Get Outdoors Day Core Team Members Receive prestigious Regional Forester's Partner of the Year Award
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Choose Outdoors receives Regional Forester's Partner of the Year Award
Golden, CO: Choose Outdoors, along with other core team members recently received the Partner of the Year Award from Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Rick Cables for their work on National Get Outdoors Day. According to Choose Outdoors' Bruce Ward, “This collaborative effort, led by the Forest Service's Susan Alden Weingardt is truly a national model that will help build lasting relationships and focus attention on the need to connect young people with the land.”

The event is designed to encourage kids and their families to make healthy lifestyle choices and to get active in the great outdoors. It focuses on nature based outdoor activities, education and programs/organizations that provide ongoing opportunities for people to connect to the outdoors. Specific emphasis is placed on outreach to under-served and minority segments of our population that now rarely visit and benefit from our network of public lands and waters.

In carrying out the design and implementation of the 2009 event, the circle of partners expanded to over 120 organizations (more than 240 individuals) representing all sectors of community.

Some highlights:
•Outreach and recruitment: Posters and fliers in English and Spanish; canvassing neighborhoods, schools and churches, Radio PSAs on KBCO, KKFN, KS107.5, KYGO and Radio Disney; Television interviews on NBC Colorado and Co., FOX31, CBS4; and multiple web links and email blasts.
•Proclamations from President Obama, Governor Ritter and Mayor Hickenlooper
•Development and implementation of the following activity zones: Jr. Ranger Camp and Woodsy's Woods, Get into the Outdoors, Outdoor Connections, Cultural Connections, The Health Zone and Take a Family Fishing, the Health Zone and Cultural Connections. Thousands of dollars of recreation equipment, park memberships, and tickets to special events were donated and given away on stage to families attending the event. In addition 300 fishing poles were given to kids that participated in take a family fishing.
•The Ad Council selected the Denver event at the launch of the new ad council campaign on connecting kids to nature: Where the Other You Lives.
•300 volunteers from around the community spent their day registering participants, picking up trashing, gathering recyclables and answering questions.

National Get Outdoors Day has served as a platform for the common issue and concern that all participating organizations express over the increasing disconnect people, especially children, have from nature and the multiple repercussions of the disconnect. These repercussions include but are not limited the declining physical health of our kids, increased attention deficit disorder, lack of environmental literacy and building a constituency and future stewards who care about their public lands – from City Parks to State Parks to National Forests and Grasslands. Multiple partnerships and coalitions have been forged and/or enhanced (such as Colorado Kids Outdoors, Lt. Governors Forum, reduced screen time campaign and partnership with Mayor's Safe City Youth leaders and Choose Outdoors), through the opportunity to do something more than talk about getting kids outdoors – instead, to put our collective resources to get kids -their friends and families introduced to the outdoors and its many benefits through programs like National Get Outdoors Day.

For more information contact:
Bruce Ward bruceward1@gmail.com or 303 917 1476

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