UDALL FOUNDATION, UNIVERSITY OUTREACH OF UM-FLINT AND THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF GREATER FLINT TEAM UP TO CONNECT AREA YOUTH TO NATURE THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY
Last month the Udall Foundation, in partnership with University Outreach at the University of Michigan-Flint, launched a pilot Parks in Focus program to introduce 10 youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint to area parks through digital photography. Over the last few weeks, participants have explored Ligon Outdoor Center, Max Brandon City Park, Bluebell Beach County Park, Stepping Stone Falls and Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. The program will culminate with a weekend camping trip to Bay City State Recreation Area (August 19-21). The adventure will be full of firsts for the participants: camping in tents, s’more-making, fishing, bird watching and more.
The Stewart L. Udall Parks in Focus program connects underserved youth to nature through the art of photography. The Udall Foundation not only provides digital cameras to the young participants to use and keep, but also trains trip leaders to execute active, learning-intensive outings that explore parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands.
Dates: The Parks in Focus program will culminate with a weekend camping trip to Bay City State Recreation Area from August 19-21, 2011.
Participants: Ten middle school youth (ages 11 to 14) from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint will be taught and guided by trained Udall Foundation and University Outreach staff.
Locations: Bay City State Recreation Area.
Activities: Participants will get their hands and shoes dirty as they camp, hike, fish, explore, and photograph Bay City State Recreation Area. They will learn about the history of Saginaw Bay, be introduced to people who work within the park, as well as the role of photography in conservation and the formation of parks. All the while, cameras will be out, lenses will be focusing, and participants will be using photography to explore the world around them, interpret what they're seeing, and create the story they want to take back home through the images they capture.
The Flint program was initiated by and is funded through University Outreach at the University of Michigan-Flint with additional support from Michigan State Parks and REI of Ann Arbor.
The mission of the Stewart L. Udall Parks in Focus program is to connect underserved youth to nature through photography. For middle-school youth who rarely venture beyond their neighborhoods, Parks in Focus can open windows of story-telling and self-expression, it can spark a new interest in science and nature, and it can, ultimately, change lives. Tucson, Arizona is home to the flagship program (and the Udall Foundation); though trips are run and community initiatives are being developed in additional states. In 2011, the Udall Foundation will support programs in California, Michigan, and Montana. To date, over 400 underserved youth have completed PIF with 175 expected to participate in 2011. Over 40 Michigan youth have completed PIF with 22+ more expected to participate in 2011.
For additional information about the Michigan program, contact Bret Muter at 989.284.0976 or email@example.com.
For additional information about Parks in Focus or the Udall Foundation, contact Libby Washburn at 505.332.9079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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