At A Glance
- Research shows that healthy kids are active outdoors.
- Many kids don't have access to parks, camps or places to learn about and experience nature.
- We help protect safe and fun places where kids can enjoy the outdoors.
We believe kids have a basic right to a healthy childhood. With major advances in medicine, education and other fields, kids today should enjoy a higher quality of life than ever before—but too many are developing chronic health conditions like obesity and depression. Researchers suggest that kids disconnected from nature and outdoor activity tend to be less healthy. The Outdoor Foundation’s 2012 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report also notes that most adults who enjoy outdoor activities today first learned them as kids.
In the 2011 ”America’s Great Outdoors” report, produced as part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, young people noted many challenges that made outdoor recreation difficult or inaccessible to them, including the feeling that parks are irrelevant because they lack the ability to travel to them. They also noted that there isn’t enough outdoor education or recreation in schools to make them feel comfortable in nature.
Download a PDF of America’s Great Outdoors Report 2012.
We’re increasing access to the outdoors by conserving and adding to summer camps, scout camps, parks and other places that invite kids and families to be active, try new things and have fun.
Outdoor Nation grew out of the National Forum on Children and Nature, an initiative that The Conservation Fund led. Outdoor Nation is building a youth movement that introduces kids to outdoor adventure. As a founding partner, we’ve provided financial support and leadership to grow Outdoor Nation from a good idea into a game-changer.
The National Forum On Children And Nature was a 54-member group of public and private leaders dedicated to improving children’s health and overall well-being, while encouraging them to rediscover America’s outdoors. We created and led the Forum in collaboration with Rich Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods” and head of the Children and Nature Network. The In 2008, the Forum endorsed 30 demonstration projects nationwide that creatively reconnected kids with nature.
Let's Move Outside!
The Let's Move Outside! program is part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to address the epidemic of childhood obesity in America.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Neighborhood Explorers
Check out the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's website, Neighborhood Explorers, where kids can learn how to explore the nature around them, report on their observations and even play online games!
Celebrate Urban Birds!
Bird-watching is cheap, easy, and possible almost everywhere. Celebrate Urban Birds, a project of Cornell University, makes bird-watching accessible even for children with limited access to nature.
Vice President of Development Alisa Borland joined the Fund in 2004 and has overseen the organization’s fundraising during eight consecutive years of top charity rankings. Alisa holds a M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Eastern University and a B.A. from the University of Maryland.