The Outdoor Foundation and the National Park Service Launch Northeast Campus Clubs Program – Expanding Investment in College and University Students - SNEWS

The Outdoor Foundation and the National Park Service Launch Northeast Campus Clubs Program – Expanding Investment in College and University Students

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Building on the Foundation’s work with college communities, the NE Campus Clubs program will invest in the best ideas driven by colleges and universities that increase outdoor participation.

Outdoor Nation, the signature program of Outdoor Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service, announced today the launch of the Northeast Campus Clubs program –strengthening the existing network of outdoor clubs and programs on college campuses to get more young people outside and active. Outdoor Nation and the National Park Service will invest a total of $40,000 in 10 university campuses across the Northeast -- empowering schools, students, faculty, alumni and the surrounding community to change the way they engage in the outdoors.

From now until May 23rd, colleges and universities in the Northeast can submit their best ideas on how to get their campus community outside and active, including visits to national parks. The Outdoor Foundation and National Park Service will then select the top ten schools to receive funding for implementation of their ideas.

”The National Park Service is pleased to partner again with the Outdoor Foundation to encourage more and more millennials to discover the magic of getting outside!” Said Julie Isbill of the Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance program of the National Park Service. “This time the emphasis is on visiting our National Parks that are eager to welcome young people to experience some of our nation’s most prized cultural and natural gems.”

The Foundation’s college engagement strategy is based on many years of research that proves one of the biggest declines in activity among Americans occurs in the ‘team sport category’ between the ages of 15 and 24. Believing this represents an opportunity to reach young people and specifically college students, Outdoor Nation is working to empower student to get outside and active -- their way.
“College students are among the most creative and inspiring group of people in our country today,” said Chris Fanning executive director of the Outdoor Foundation. “Over the past several years, these young leaders have emerged as the drivers behind Outdoor Nation. The Northeast Campus Clubs program and our other campus work builds on our investment in these change makers. We believe if we are truly going to inspire a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts – the ideas and energy must come from them.”

Three years ago, The Outdoor Foundation, with support from the National Park Service, launched the first Outdoor Nation Campus Clubs in Atlanta and Washington DC, which quickly expanded throughout New England. To date, Outdoor Nation Campus Clubs program has included 15 colleges and their university outdoor programs. These programs have engaged over 500 college and high school students and resulted in a strong relationship between institutions through monthly outdoor outings. The Northeast Campus Clubs program builds on this success and will aim to connect hundreds of students to the outdoors in 2014.

Winning schools will be announced on June 16th and outings will take place Fall 2014 through Spring 2015. Visit outdoornation.org/grants to apply or email Ivan Levin for more information at ilevin@outdoorfoundation.org.

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About the Outdoor Foundation
The Outdoor Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, action oriented outreach, and education programs, the Foundation works with partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In 2010, the Foundation launched Outdoor Nation, a pioneering initiative that aims to empower young leaders to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities across the United States. For more information visit: OutdoorFoundation.org and OutdoorNation.org.

About the National Park Service
The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The National Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world. A recent Order by the Secretary of the Interior pledges: “To bridge the growing disconnect between young people and the great outdoors, we seek to engage and involve the next generation in meaningful connections to nature through opportunities to play, learn, serve, and work on public lands.” For more information about the NPS visit http://www.nps.gov.

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