Outdoor Nation Summer Youth Summits Culminate in San Francisco

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Youth-led Movement for the Outdoors Plans Agenda—with more than $100,000 in Dedicated Funding for Youth Project Ideas—to Expand Access, Activity, and Appreciation


The energy, creativity and enthusiasm of these young leaders will be fundamental to solving the problems facing state, local and national parklands.

Outdoor Nation, the youth-led movement championing the outdoors, is coming to San Francisco, the fifth and final stop on the series of 2011 Youth Summits. For many reasons—access, cultural relevance, education, time, budget cuts—America’s youth is losing touch with the outdoors. Outdoor Nation is empowering the Millennial generation to address the issues head-on and develop their own solutions to connecting youth with the outdoors.

The three-day Summit, co-hosted by The Presidio Trust and the National Park Service, begins on July 29 at 12:00pm at the Presidio’s Fort Scott. A diverse group of more than 200 youth leaders aged 16 to 28 is expected in San Francisco, the Northwest Regional Summit. Delegates were chosen from online applications as well as nominations from Outdoor Nation partners.

Delegates will discuss regional outdoor issues and brainstorm project ideas to remove barriers to participation in the outdoors. Youth participants will vote for the top ideas in each region. The Outdoor Foundation will invest more than $10,000 in projects—a total of $100,000 for all the projects that result from the summits—with support from the National Park Service’s Rivers and Trails and Conservation Assistance National Programs and The Outdoor Foundation.

Delegates will also address the deep budget cuts and unprecedented closures facing America’s State Parks, Outdoor Nation’s national partner and its top cause for 2011.

Outdoor Nation wouldn’t have the appeal that it does with the Millennial generation if it was all work and no play. On July 30, Outdoor Nation, The Presidio Trust and the National Park Service will co-host a Summer Fun Day celebration at Crissy Field’s Historic Airfield. The public will be invited to participate in an incredible range of outdoor recreation—from rock climbing, to camping competitions to orienteering—that are available close to home. This event is free and is expected to attract thousands of Bay Area residents. More information can be found at SummerFunDay.org.

The Outdoor Nation Regional Youth Summit series started in New York City in late June, then went to Atlanta, Minneapolis and Denver. Throughout the summer, the Youth Summits will engage more than 1,000 young leaders, and thousands more will tune in online at OutdoorNation.org.

Support for Outdoor Nation is generously provided by the Outdoor Foundation and, national presenting sponsors, The North Face, The REI Foundation and The Conservation Fund.

The Summits are supported by many other notable organizations including Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, America’s State Parks, the National Park Service, Merrell, Play Outdoors, CamelBak, SmartWool, Osprey, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Mountain Hardwear, Eastern Mountain Sports, Johnson and Johnson, CIGNA, S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Sierra Club, Circadence, Clark Atlanta University, Georgia State Parks, Colorado State Parks, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, The Presidio Trust, The Crissy Field Center and more than 100 invested organizations from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Outdoor Nation is an initiative of The Outdoor Foundation and was founded with initial support from The North Face, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, The REI Foundation, The Conservation Fund and the National Park Service.

About the Outdoor Foundation
The Outdoor Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, action oriented outreach, and education programs, the Foundation works with partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In 2010, the Foundation launched Outdoor Nation, a pioneering initiative that aims to empower youth to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities across the United States. For more information visit: OutdoorFoundation.org and OutdoorNation.org.

About The Presidio Trust
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park site located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The park is home to 13 distinctive plant communities featuring 280 native plant species, 16 of which are rare or endangered. Thousands of hours of volunteer work have restored many acres of natural resource habitat. The Presidio Native Plant Nursery grows 60,000 plants each year to make this restoration possible. Twenty-first-century “green” practices are employed in all building and landscape rehabilitation efforts.

About The National Park Service
The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations. The National Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.

Quotes in Support of the Outdoor Nation:

“Outdoor Nation provides a chance to connect with America’s young people and encourage them to take advantage of the superb recreational, job, and service opportunities on our public lands and waters,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “We look forward to participating in youth summits this summer and finding ways to better connect America’s youth to the Great Outdoors.”

“The President’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative and the First Lady’s Let’s Move Outside! initiative teach and open up access for our nation’s youth to reap the many benefits of outdoor recreation – from improved mental and physical health, to better academic performance and reduced stress,” said Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Outdoor Nation is advancing this goal by empowering thousands of young leaders across America to strengthen the connection between health and the outdoors in their communities.”

"America’s State Parks are proud to be the national partner of Outdoor Nation and named by the ‘Outsiders’ as their top cause for 2011, " said Joe Elton, president of the National Association of State Park Directors and Director of Virginia State Parks. "Outdoor Nation is attracting and inspiring the best and the brightest young outdoor enthusiasts and advocates in each state, and drawing their attention and support as champions for America’s parks at a time when they are experiencing record visitation and challenged by the impact of the nation’s economic recession."

“We are pleased to host the Outdoor Nation summit here at the Presidio of San Francisco,” said Craig Middleton, Presidio Trust Executive Director. "The energy, creativity and enthusiasm of these young leaders will be fundamental to solving the problems facing state, local and national parklands."

“One signature difference in the Outdoor Nation approach is that we are investing in project ideas that come directly from young leaders. The passion and creativity of this generation is really only matched by their incredible ability to mobilize their peers around issues they care about,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation. “With the help of our sponsors, we are very proud that this year, in addition to funding for activation grants, we will also be able to offer each delegate expanded training in key areas of project management, fundraising and partnerships, advocacy, communications and leadership development.”

“We’re back, and we’ve grown in both size and enthusiasm for our cause,” said 24 year-old Lindsay Bourgoine, Outdoor Nation’s lead ambassador from Portland, Maine. “We’ve also grown in resolve to find solutions to the national and local issues that are keeping people indoors.”

"We are extremely proud to be a founding partner of this groundbreaking initiative, bringing young leaders together to share their passion for the outdoors and ultimately find better ways to connect people and nature,” said Ann Krcik, director of outdoor participation at The North Face. “By connecting our athletes with these young leaders at this weekend’s events in New York, we hope to inspire and enable the next generation of outdoor explorers and conservationists."

“The REI Foundation works to connect more people to the outdoors and Outdoor Nation provides a unique focus on empowering young adults to lead this movement,” said Mike Collins, president of The REI Foundation. “We are excited to see Outdoor Nation grow and expand the effort to more cities around the country.”


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Liz Levitan Krinock
Outdoor Nation
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