Outdoor Foundation Receives $200,000 Grant from Kaiser Permanente
to Connect Young People to Parks
Program announced at Partnership for a Healthier America Summit as part of a broader initiative of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” Campaign.
Washington DC (May 19, 2016) – The Outdoor Foundation has launched a new community grant program, made possible with support from Kaiser Permanente, that awards much-needed funding to get local youth from underserved or urban areas access to close-to-home parks. The partnership between the Outdoor Foundation and Kaiser Permanente is to fund eight projects in Northern California that will engage more than 1,800 young people in recreation at parks. Part of the Outdoor Foundation and Outdoor Industry Association’s broader ‘Parks4Kids’ initiative, the program was announced today at the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit in Washington, DC.
This initiative is part of a broader program with The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which was founded in conjunction with the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity.
“America is facing an inactivity crisis, which is contributing to a range of health issues for young people across the country and in Northern California,” said Chris Fanning, the executive director of the Outdoor Foundation. “Thanks to the support and leadership of Kaiser Permanente, we are working with local groups to get Americans – especially youth – out of the house and into public parks to create healthy, active communities.”
“Instinctively we know that being outdoors has a way of making us feel better, and research has established that having access to natural areas is vital to our overall wellbeing,” said Yener Balan, MD, FAPA, executive director of Behavioral Health in Kaiser Permanente in northern California. “Unfortunately though, while everyone can benefit from being outside—people in many low income communities face significant barriers in accessing safe outdoor spaces, and often times, these same people can have higher rates of chronic stress and obesity.”
The grants will be invested in programs that involve multiple outings to parks throughout the year, with the purpose of establishing new and healthy lifestyles and a love for America’s natural treasures. Eight non-profits were selected to work with the National Park Service to build lasting relationships between communities and local parks while inspiring a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts that will support and champion park issues.
Non-profits that received funding include:
- City of Dreams: San Francisco, CA – Exposes youth living in or near public housing projects to new experiences in national, state and municipal parks.
- Earth Team: Berkeley, CA – Trains more than 100 students from Title I minority-enrollment schools to address environmental issues in their communities.
- Groundwork Richmond: Richmond, CA – Creates a youth Green Team to revitalize the community while providing environmental education for participants.
- Latino Outdoors: San Francisco, CA – Supports ongoing efforts to introduce youth and their families to national parks and other public lands.
- Nature Bridge: San Francisco, CA – Provides underserved youth with a year of wilderness explorations, service projects, career workshops and more.
- Pogo Park: Richmond, CA – Brings inner-city youth to Yosemite National Park and Muir Woods National Monument to deepen their understanding of nature.
- San Leandro Boys & Girls Club: San Leandro, CA – Introduces urban youth to the outdoors through educational experiences and campouts.
- Waterside Workshops: Berkeley, CA – Provides low-income teens and young adults with daily opportunities for outdoor recreation.
This partnership initiative is a matching fund program where an equal matching share is required from the non-profit and other project partners. The projects will begin this spring and wrap up in December.
About The Outdoor Foundation
Charitable arm of Outdoor Industry Association, the Outdoor Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor leaders and enthusiasts. Through youth engagement, community grant-making, and groundbreaking research, the Foundation works with young leaders and partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In just five years, the Foundation has invested $4 million into 785 not-for-profit and college programs that have connected 200,000 young people to the outdoors. Importantly, 90¢ of every dollar goes directly into this critical work. Visit us at outdoorfoundation.org and outdoornation.org for more information.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 10 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.