Policy & EducationEffect change through grassroots action to educate policy makers and political leaders
Policy & Education
At the Children & Nature Network, we are actively engaging in education and policy discussion to address public health issues and affect social change based on the substantial aggregate research on the benefits of connecting children and families to nature. By helping to build strategic relationships with government representatives, public policy experts and others at the city, county, state and national levels, you are building to a knowledge base around nature’s huge benefits to all constituents.
In advance of the100th birthday of the National Park Service, the President’s Every Kid in a Park initiative is an effort to mobilize children and parents to visit and enjoy America’s outdoor spaces. To encourage the next generation to discover America’s public lands and waters, the initiative will also provide a full year of free admission to all 4th grade students and their families when visiting National Parks and other federal lands and waters. More legislation such as this, which makes it easy for schools and families to plan for time in nature, is our ongoing appeal in advocating to enrich children’s and communities’ outdoor experiences.
Education is integral to our efforts toward policy changes to remove barriers to children and families spending time in the outdoors. Sharing information about the research illustrating the health benefits of connecting to nature, as well as providing insight into the unique challenges to select cross-sections of society, is critical to our success.
An example of our education of policy makers was the congressional briefing, “Building the Next Generation of Diverse Nature-Smart Leaders,” which we co-hosted with Senator Patty Murray. Featuring panelists from The REI Foundation, The Hispanic Access Foundation, The Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies and The Wilderness Society, discussions and presentations addressed strategic ways to promote outdoor recreation and conservation among Latino youth. Designed to address unique challenges to connecting with nature faced by the Latino community, the briefing included informative updates on existing legislation, and programs designed to drive maximum awareness of the outdoors and public lands among diverse audiences.
The Outdoor Alliance for Kids (OAK) is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, families and communities with nature and the outdoors. OAK’s members are brought together by the shared belief that the health and wellness of current and future generations, the health of our communities and society, and the economy of the future are dependent on humans experiencing a personal, direct and on-going relationship with the natural world.