Atlanta, Georgia – Outdoor Nation, the youth-led movement championing the outdoors, is coming to Atlanta, the second stop on its 2011 Youth Summit series. Faced with the gloomy reality that for many reasons—access, cultural relevance, education, time—America’s youth is losing touch with the outdoors resulting in adverse effects to the population and to the outdoor places themselves, Outdoor Nation is empowering the Millennial generation to address the issues head-on and develop their own solutions to these challenges.
The three-day Summit, co-hosted with Clark Atlanta University and Georgia State Parks, begins on July 8 at 12:00pm at Clark Atlanta University’s Student Center. A diverse group of more than 200 youth leaders aged 16 to 28 is expected at the Southeast Regional Summit. Summit delegates were chosen from online applications as well as nominations from partners.
Southeast Regional Delegates will discuss regional outdoor issues and brainstorm project ideas that will remove barriers to participation and ultimately engage more young people in the outdoors. The top ideas in each region will be determined by democratic vote. The Outdoor Foundation will invest more than $10,000 in these youth-driven projects—a total of $100,000 for all the Summits with support from the National Park Service’s Rivers and Trails and Conservation Assistance National Programs, to support and help implement the America’s Great Outdoors initiative.
Delegates will also address issues surrounding America’s State Parks, its national partner and top cause for 2011. Faced with deep budget cuts and unprecedented park closures, America’s state parks have been identified by the Outdoor Nation community of ‘Outsiders’ as its top advocacy issue because of their unmatched importance in America’s outdoor recreation.
Outdoor Nation wouldn’t have the appeal that it does with the Millennial generation if it was all work and no play. On July 9, Outdoor Nation and Georgia State Parks will co-host a Summer Fun Day celebration at Sweetwater Creek State Park, just 20 minutes from Atlanta. Local residents will enjoy an incredible range of outdoor recreation—from kayaking, to rock climbing, to a camping—that are available close to home. This event is free for the entire community and is expected to attract thousands of area residents. More information can be found at SummerFunDay.org.
The Outdoor Nation Regional Youth Summit series started two weeks ago in New York City, and will continue in Minneapolis, Denver, and San Francisco. Throughout the summer, the Youth Summits will engage more than 1,300 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, 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.