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October 4th, 2021
Thank you National Recreation Foundation!
by Amanda Gaglio
We are excited to announce that the Conservancy will be part of the first-ever National Recreation Foundation's (NRF) grantee cohort as part of Tom’s of Maine’s Get Into Nature program!
NRF is dedicated to enhancing the role of recreation as a positive force in improving the quality of life of youth. They do so by investing in programming that works to engage young people in outdoor and recreational activities.
As part of a partnership with Tom's of Maine, National Recreation Foundation will be supporting a number of organizations around the country that work to connect kids with nature and who help to provide equitable access to time outside. Among these organizations are Audubon Texas, Children & Nature Network, Environmental Learning for Kids, Outdoors Empowered Network, Rippleffect, and Greater Newark Conservancy for our Newark Youth Leadership Project!
The Get Into Nature program, which is a three-year initiative, will contribute to outdoor recreation programs like NYLP that engage youth and help to empower and enrich young people's lives by exposing them to the natural world.
"We know that youth face all kinds of barriers when it comes to spending time outside, including long-term structural inequities of racism, housing, health and poverty, the more immediate pressures of school, job and household responsibilities and limited free time, and all the intersections of the two. By supporting kids in spending more time outside, we’re facilitating opportunities to boost their physical and mental health, develop social connections and sense of community, and invest in and benefit from healthy local environments. Even better, our grantees are focused on building sustainable habits that will benefit youth over the course of a lifetime." (NRF & Tom's of Maine Team Up to Promote Equitable Access to Nature, September 29, 2021)
The Newark Youth Leadership Project is a paid internship program where high school and college students are given the opportunity to work in one of several departments; Youth Farm Stand, Environmental Education, Horticulture or Urban Farming. Each department gives the interns unique training and hands-on environmental education to empower and enrich their lives by improving their technical skills and exposing them to the natural environment.
For 22 years the program has had over a thousand participants from the Newark community go through the program. Interns have gone on to pursue careers in STEM, education, criminal justice, and even become team members at the Conservancy!