project leader
Beth B
234 East Avenue 33
(Lincoln Heights)
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the project

The Roots and Wings Program will provide opportunities for urban Los Angeles high school students to encounter our National Parks while building self-esteem, a sense of connection to the world, an appreciation for nature, confidence and independence, as well as knowledge of the world beyond their communities. Challenging and engaging experiences in the National Parks will help students take more responsibility for the ecology of their own communities and prepare them to enter college or careers with confidence and seriousness of purpose. Students who participate in this program will also be prepared to pursue jobs in the National Parks, fulfilling the NPS’ Call to Action mandate to diversify the NPS workplace.

Roots and Wings will make available engaging, extended National Park experiences that will inspire youth to deepen their roots in their communities while spreading their wings into the great outdoors. Through ongoing activities in local and national park settings, students will be introduced to a host of park-related concepts through lessons, interactions with park staff, service learning projects, and the establishment of conservation-stewardship programs in students’ respective schools. Teams of highly- trained diverse outdoor instructors, trained by the Diverse Outdoor Leadership Institute of Los Angeles, will work in conjunction with teachers, Outward Bound Adventures, NPS staff, and NPCA staff and volunteers to facilitate the program.

the steps

Jan 2013:     Recruit students and plan with teacher liaisons at the three schools.

Feb 2013:    Begin program, introduce ideas, take hiking trips to local and regional parks.

Mar 2013:   Take overnights to Santa Monica Mountains and Manzanar National Historic Site

April 2013:   Overnights to Mojave and Channel Islands

May 2013:   Overnight to Sequoia Kings National Park

June 2013:  Plan in-school assemblies and local beautification projects.

June 2013:  Initiate park internships.

why we're doing it

Today’s urban, low-income students are deeply disconnected from the outdoors, open space, and the wilderness. Not only is a generation of urban children lacking an understanding of stewardship principles and a connection to the natural world, they are becoming geographically and experientially isolated, especially when compared to their more affluent counterparts. Recent research has begun to document the negative intellectual and emotional effects of growing up without exposure to the natural environment. Experiencing nature can enhance creativity, problem-solving, focus, self-discipline, cooperation and self-awareness; it has been found to reduce aggression and increase happiness. Furthermore, a profound and troubling level of childhood obesity threatens the life chances of 20% of American children and adolescents, partially due to the diminishing resources for outdoor exercise.  A lack of opportunity to experience nature combined with shrinking resources for school-based recreation have conspired to leave many youngsters with serious deficits in physical, intellectual, and emotional health.


1. Transportation to National Park Sites..................$1,000.00

2. Staff support for trips...........................................$1,000.00

3. Food for overnights.............................................$1,000.00


ioby Platform Fee  $35
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $90



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