A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: DC STUDENTS CELEBRATE LET'S MOVE OUTSIDE! ANNIVERSARY ON SOUTH LAWN
Outdoors Alliance for Kids Launches “Get Your Nature On!” Facebook Application
WASHINGTON, D.C. — This afternoon, seventy-five local DC students from Thurgood Marshall High School were invited to play on what may be considered the nation's most well-known backyard, the White House South Lawn. As part of the First Lady's Summer South Lawn Series and in celebration of the Let's Move Outside! (LMO) one year anniversary, the South Lawn provided exciting opportunities for the students to engage in healthy, outdoor recreation. Activities included a rock climbing wall, camping demonstration, kayak clinic, mountain biking, frisbee, and a fly fishing station.
Launched in June 2010, Let's Move Outside! is the outdoor activity component of the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign to end childhood obesity in a generation. Led by the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Agriculture and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers – which together, manage over one-fifth of the nation's landmass – Let's Move Outside! is part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative and aims to connect children and families to the outdoors through healthy recreation on public lands and waters.
“It's great to see so many young people finding entertainment and adventure in the great outdoors,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “With one year of Let's Move Outside! under our belt, we look forward to establishing new ways to engage our youth, expand opportunities for outdoor recreation, and build on partnerships to support these efforts.”
One example of a national organization finding new ways to connect kids to outdoors experiences is the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK). To commemorate the LMO! one year anniversary, OAK launched a new Facebook application to inspire and encourage young people to get outside, and be active. The new “Get Your Nature On” Facebook application will provide inspiration, encouragement and resources to young people who commit to getting active in the outdoors this year.
“By using social media to inspire, inform, and connect young people to nature, OAK addresses some of the key challenges raised by the thousands of young people who participated in the America's Great Outdoors listening sessions,” added Salazar. “I am proud of our work with groups like OAK who have committed to implementing the recommendations in the report by making the health of our nation's youth and public lands a priority.”
Based on recommendations from the America's Great Outdoors Youth Report to create infrastructure, access, programming, service opportunities and inspiration to help the next generation of America's youth engage in healthy, outdoor recreation, members of OAK have made commitments in key areas. Examples include:
YMCA, National Military Family Association and Sierra Club. Free camp access for 7,000 military kids and families in over 35 states.
International Mountain Biking Association. Pledging to host 300 free clinics and get 30,00 kids mountain biking this year.
The North Face. Hosting 7 regional events engaging hundreds of kids and families in guided hikes and activities in state parks across the country and distributing 70,000 free entrance passes and Activity Guides with tips on where to go and what to do to State Parks.
Outdoor Nation. Engaging thousands of youth through five regional summits with the goal of mobilizing youth around recreation and connecting to the outdoors.
National Wildlife Federation. Launching a new and improved version of its online park and outdoor activity-finder program, NatureFind. NatureFind is a one-stop, online source for free information and directions to 10,000 of the best outdoor places in America.
The Outdoor Alliance for Kids is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in expanding opportunities for children, youth and families to connect with the outdoors. The alliance was launched by Sierra Club, YMCA of the USA, REI, National Wildlife Federation, Izaak Walton League of America, Outdoor Foundation, Children & Nature Network and the National Recreation and Park Association in June 2010. Since then, OAK's steering committee has grown to include the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity, the National Association of State Park Directors, The North Face and Active Network. OAK's membership continues to expand.