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Press Releases

Outdoor Nation unveils program and partner plans for 2011

Outdoor Nation will host five regional youth summits on the outdoors this year with America's State Parks as its national partner and top cause of the initiative.

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Christine Fanning

Executive Director

(202) 271-3252

Outdoor Nation Unveils Program and Partner Plans for 2011

America’s State Parks Named National Partner and Top Cause at Kick-Off Event in Hall of States

Washington, D.C. (March 25, 2010) — In 2010, Outdoor Nation made history by hosting the largest National Youth Summit on the Outdoors — bringing more than 500 young people representing every state to address the growing disconnect between youth and the outdoors. In 2011, the youth-led revolution will spread across the country in an effort to build a movement and empower a generation to reconnect, redefine and rediscover the outdoors. This year’s plans were unveiled at a kick-off event last Wednesday co-hosted by The Outdoor Foundation and America’s State Parks, which was named national partner and top cause of the initiative.

Building on the success of the 2010 Summit, Outdoor Nation will host 5 Regional Summits this year – bringing together thousands of young people to identify top issues, brainstorm creative ideas and commit to taking action, individually and collectively. The Summits will kick-off in New York City on June 23 with a National Outdoor Nation Congress where youth from every state will gather to set a national agenda and action plan. Following this event, the 5 Regional Summits will take place throughout the summer. Locations include New York City, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Denver and San Francisco.

Tied to every Summit is a Summer Fun Day that will be co-hosted by America’s State Parks and other lead partners including the National Park Service. These events are expected to attract thousands of local residents and will offer a range of outdoor activities from kayaking to rock climbing to a family fun area.

At the kick-off event at the Hall of States, America’s State Parks was named the national partner of the Outdoor Nation Summit Series.

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. America’s State Parks, with more than 7,000 sites and a record 740 million visits in 2010, were founded more than a century ago to provide close-to-home access to nature for all citizens. In addition to record visitation, America’s Sate Parks hit significant milestones in 2010 related to both number of protected acres and economic contribution, which topped $23 billion.

“Outdoor Nation is building a youth-led movement and empowering a generation,” said Lindsay Bourgoine, lead Outdoor Nation Ambassador. “Thanks to our partners we will be able to bring Outdoor Nation into the states and communities this summer to address the real issues that are keeping people inside. Our community of Outsiders will actively champion important causes like America’s State Parks — engaging new communities and inspiring new leadership across all 50 states.”

Following Outdoor Nation’s youth-empowerment model, America’s State Parks launched its first national youth program earlier this year — the State Park Youth Ambassadors program. Anchored in every state, these youth leaders will work with Outdoor Nation to raise support and awareness for America’s State Parks.

Outdoor Nation is supported by a diverse coalition of more than 100 organizations from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. The Summer Summit Series is sponsored by some of the world’s top brands including The North Face, REI Foundation, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, The Conservation Fund and National Park Service, Merrell, Play Works, SmartWool, Mountain Hardwear, Eastern Mountain Sports, Johnson and Johnson and CIGNA.

About the partners:

The Outdoor Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Through ground-breaking research, action-oriented convening and 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: and

America’s State Parks represents a collaboration of State Parks across our 50 states to promote and enhance the collective national treasure of our great state park system. With over 7,000 units, more than 740 million annual recreation visits, America’s State Parks are vital to the American quality of life. Leadership and governance for America’s State Parks alliance comes from members of the National Association of State Park Directors representing each region of the country.