EARLY VISIT: Nature and kids are a pairing that's just about as old as the word "pairing." Many of us were encouraged to go play in the yard as youngsters while getting some fresh air and sunshine and exercise, while others got to road trip it to Yellowstone and Yosemite and other national parks. Every young person should get that opportunity to see Half Dome and Old Faithful and a redwood, of course, because the benefits and joys -- majesty, activity, wonder, imagination -- are all plentifully found among our natural wonders and vistas. The National Park Foundation and Disney feel this way, and have recently teamed up to make sure thousands of kids get a chance to experience that majesty via the "Open OutDoors for Kids" campaign.
HOW IT WORKS: The program will help "100,000 youth experience a national park, many of them for the first time." Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation, spoke of the importance of reaching and connecting the country's "underserved youth" with a national park experience, and how we can all play a role. "With only $10, someone can open an 'out door' and a new world of possibilities, inspiration, and adventure for a young person," says Mr. Mulholland. And just ten dollars will have some match power to it: Disney will "provide up to $250,000 as a dollar-for-dollar match for public donations made at www.OpenOutDoorsforKids.com." The money raised will be used in multiple ways, including providing transportation to the parks, programs designed to engage the visiting young people, and "encourage active, healthy lifestyles through recreational and restoration activities."
WANT TO DONATE? You can, right here, and find out more about making the love for the national parks a way of life for all kids.