Grant aims to help Mooresville children experience nature

  

FROM PRESS RELEASE

In today’s increasingly digital society, the need to educate children on the importance of connecting with nature is apparent, especially in underserved, low-income areas where there aren’t a lot of opportunities for kids to explore the natural world around them. That’s why the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has selected these four park and recreation agencies to receive funding for its new Wildlife Explorer’s program:

  • Omaha Parks and Recreation, Omaha, Neb.
  • City of Tukwila Parks and Recreation, Tukwila, Wash.
  • Mooresville Parks & Recreation Department, Mooresville, N.C.
  • Augusta Recreation and Parks, Augusta, Ga.

Wildlife Explorers, which aims to reach 200,000 children over the next three years, encourages hands-on learning outdoors and inspires children ages 5–10 to explore nature in their local parks. The program leverages existing out-of-school programming happening at local park and recreation centers and was designed to be implemented in any outdoor space and by anyone regardless of their experience facilitating environmental or conservation programming.

“At NRPA we are proud to help support the nation’s next generation of environmental advocates,” said Lori Robertson, NRPA Director of Conservation. “Parks everywhere play an important role in helping children discover the wonders of nature. Now, through this grant, children who’ve never had the opportunity to explore nature will be able to do so right in their own communities.”

The Wildlife Explorers program includes a six chapter curriculum framework that was developed by NRPA in partnership with National Wildlife Federation and Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and culminates with an environmental action project that allows students to address a local environmental challenge facing their community. For example, participants may plant stream buffers or construct rain gardens to support improved watershed health or plant trees to improve water and air quality. The grant funding, provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will be used to help agencies pay for the action project and program supplies.

According to a 2013 survey conducted by the National Environmental Education Foundation, the majority of Americans consider parks to be a trusted source of environmental information. Forty-three percent of park and recreation agencies provide dedicated environmental education during out-of-school time.

The portion of the press release displayed appears as received from the National Recreation and Park Association with the exception of  page/text/space/paragraph/general formatting details.  Picture placement also excluded.  All pictures included with original release may not be shown here.  Separate reports contained within the same press release may have also been removed.  Additionally, the different pieces of the press release may have been re-arranged.  This press release has been posted at WSICfm.com.  Article title and picture captions are not part of the press release.  This information does, however, reflect the information received from the National Recreation and Park Association.

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