New 'Wildlife Explorers' Program Connects Urban Youth With Nature
Program aims to inspire next generation of conservation leaders.
December 1, 2016
Many children living in urban areas are not given the opportunity to explore the natural world around them. As a result, they have little to no affinity with nature. In an effort to inspire children living in urban areas to explore nature in their communities, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), a network of more than 52,000 park and recreation professionals and advocates, is proud to announce a new nature discovery program called Wildlife Explorers.
Intended for children ages 5–10, this environmental education program encourages hands-on exploration and learning outdoors and connects children to the wonders of nature through their local parks.
Wildlife Explorers, which aims to reach 200,000 children over the next three years, will leverage existing out-of-school time programming happening at park and recreation facilities across the country. The program includes a series of six environmental education activities that can be implemented in any outdoor space and by anyone regardless of experience facilitating environmental or conservation programming.
NRPA is offering $30,000 in grant funding, provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Applied Materials, to help park and recreation agencies implement Wildlife Explorers.
In addition to providing program supplies, the funding will be used to help agencies implement an action project that addresses a local environmental challenge. For example, participants may plant stream buffers or construct rain gardens to support improved watershed health, build and place nest boxes for declining cavity nesting bird species or plant trees to improve water and air quality.
To learn more about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org.