Posts Tagged ‘REI’

National Park Trust Honored with an Inaugural Outdoors Alliance for Kids Leaf Award



For Immediate Release

November 15, 2016

Contact: Jackie Ostfeld,, 202-548-6584


Outdoors Alliance for Kids Announces Inaugural OAK Leaf Awards

REI, The North Face, National Park Trust, Children & Nature Network and National League of Cities honored for collaborative approach to getting kids outdoors.

Washington, DC – Today, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) announced five recipients of the inaugural OAK Leaf Award which recognizes alliance members for their collaborative approach to support OAK’s policy or programmatic goals. REI, The North Face, National Park Trust, Children & Nature Network and the National League of Cities to receive the award during an OAK welcome reception for the annual gathering of the alliance, held at The Wilderness Society’s Ansel Adams Gallery.

Statements of OAK’s Lead Award Recipients

“At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well lived. This is an especially important thought when we consider the daily lives of our younger generations. Unlike years past, it seems we need to make special efforts to assure kids from all backgrounds have chances to explore, play and learn outside,” said Marc Berejka, REI’s director of community and government affairs. “We’ve been an OAK supporter from its beginning because OAK provides pivotal leadership at the national level. We appreciate the recognition, and also look forward to continuing our investment in high-impact programs like this one.”

“We are proud to partner with OAK and many wonderful nonprofits like the National Park Trust to support President Obama’s Every Kid in a Park initiative through our Explore Fund grants,” said The North Face senior director of Outdoor Exploration Ann Krcik. “By working together to bring outdoor experiences to youth, we hope to create the next generation of environmental stewards. Thank you OAK for this incredible honor.”

“National Park Trust is very honored to be recognized with an inaugural OAK Leaf Award. The Outdoors Alliance for Kids is a tremendous resource and network that has allowed us to significantly expand our mission of preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. Working together with the members of this alliance, we are able each year to engage tens of thousands of students from Title 1 schools across the country with our iconic parks and public lands, providing transformational park experiences. OAK is an excellent example of the power of partnerships,” stated executive director of the National Park Trust, Grace Lee.

“The OAK Leaf award recognizes the dedication of our seven Cities Connecting Children to Nature pilot cities in their work to enrich young lives, strengthen stewardship of our natural world and achieve equity in American cities,” said National League of Cities CEO and executive director Clarence E. Anthony. “NLC is proud to receive this award on their behalf and continue our significant work together.” The CCCN cities have been working diligently for the past year to plan equitable and abundant access to nature for their communities. “We look forward to seeing the impact of the cities’ work on children, families, and communities, and we are honored to partner with OAK in advancing the field of children and nature,” said Children & Nature Network executive director Sarah Milligan-Toffler.

“The Outdoors Alliance for Kids wouldn’t be what it is today without the passion of our members, new and old, large and small,” said OAK co-founder and chair, Jackie Ostfeld. “These awards couldn’t be more well-deserved. I look forward to continuing to work with this year’s OAK Leaf Award recipients to make major strides in the movement to get kids outdoors.”


About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK): OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together more than eighty businesses and organizations, led by a steering committee which includes representatives from the Alliance for Childhood, American Heart Association, Children & Nature Network, Latino Outdoors, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, NatureBridge, The North Face, Public Lands Service Coalition (a program of The Corps Network), REI, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and the YMCA of the USA to address the growing divide between children, youth and the natural world. For more information:

NPS increases efforts to get Every Kid In a Park

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Emily Linroth,

NPS increases efforts to get Every Kid In a Park

Rangers head to classrooms  to give free park passes to all DCPS 4th graders 

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) is kicking off a new school year and the second year of the Every Kid In a Park program by distributing passes to every public school fourth grader in the District. The passes, which provide free access for fourth graders and their families to any of the nation’s 413 national parks, are part of the NPS commitment to get youth outside and inspire a new generation to enjoy and take care of their public lands.

In the National Capital Region, rangers are visiting public schools throughout the district, presenting educational programs, and handing out passes to fourth graders, as well as inviting them to visit neighborhood national parks. So far, rangers have visited 33 schools and handed out 1,676 passes, with more on the way.

“Our goal for the second year of the Every Kid In a Park program is to get a pass into the hands of every D.C. fourth grader,” Bob Vogel, NPS National Capital Regional Director said. “Our goal for our next 100 years to inspire these students and their families to explore and enjoy their incredible public lands across the country and right here in the District—there is a wealth of nature and history right here in our backyard.”

The NPS is also partnering with the National Park Trust, which will provide bus funding for every DCPS fourth grade class to have a national park experience. The bus funding was awarded to the National Park Trust by the Outdoor Foundation and REI, and every park experience will be at no cost to the students, parents or schools. The North Face is also providing funding to the National Park Trust to get students from charter schools into national parks.

In addition to rangers visiting classrooms, national parks are hosting events throughout the region. Close to 50 fourth graders from Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom visited Rock Creek Park on Oct. 7 to receive their passes and participate in relays to set up tents and pack hiking packs, hikes to learn about wildlife and a planetarium show.

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, students from St. Francis Xavier Academy will pick up their passes at Anacostia Park and then get a look at social and environmental issues facing the river through a special boat tour led by the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) in partnership with the NPS. Students will also take a river trail walk with rangers and visit the D.C. Aquatic Resources Education Center to see aquarium tanks containing turtles, fish and other animals that live in the Anacostia River. Media are welcome to join the students on the river. Please RSVP to save a spot: Emily Linroth (NPS) OR Mike Bento (AWS)

Learn more about the Every Kid In a Park program at

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 413 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube