On December 15, Obama administration officials will convene the first-ever White House Forum on Environmental Justice. Environmental leaders from across the country will attend the day-long forum featuring White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) recently introduced the Moving Outdoors in Nature Act (MONA) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, H.R. 6426, supports federal, state and local strategies that connect children with the natural world.
MONA intends to get America’s kids healthy and active by connecting children, youth and families with nature through natural play areas, outdoor recreation programs, public health initiatives, outdoor learning environments and service learning.
With the help of landowners Marta and Steve Weinstein, local climbers Steve Russell, Tom Addison, Brian Poulsen and Access Fund Regional Coordinator Paul Minault have spearheaded a successful effort to secure permanent access to Jailhouse Rock near Sonora, California. However, more help is needed from the climbing community for long-term conservation.
The existing parking area and access trail will remain open for the immediate future, but a new subdivision threatens the access trail. The Access Fund has secured a route to the cliffs through a different access point, but still needs to secure the funding needed to build a new parking area with trailhead facilities, pay for the construction of a security gate, as well as cover legal, surveying, and other transactional costs.
The non-profit Wild Trails and indepedent retailer Rock/Creek have raised $27,000 for work on trails in Chattanooga via Rock/Creek's 2010 StumpJump race.
Proceeds donated from StumpJump and other races in the 2010 Rock/Creek Trail Series have allowed Wild Trails to give year-end gifts to the Cumberland Trail Conference, the Friends of the Cumberland Trail, and the Mountain Education Foundation, and will fund much of the 2011 Wild Trails grant cycle.
Polartec has partnered with Moms and Jobs (MoJo), a Boston-based community venture that provides employment opportunities and career development for single mothers in the apparel manufacturing sector. Citing the statistic that over 30 percent of households headed by single mothers are below the poverty line, Polartec will be giving discounted rates on its fabric for use in MoJo's logo-wear and apparel. MoJo employs a full staff of single mothers and the proceeds from their product line will go to providing free childcare, above average wages, healthcare, and educational opportunities.
The North Face Explore Fund, a grant-giving program supporting non-profit organizations that get youth outdoors, has awarded $250,000 to more than 100 projects. The grants are administered by the Outdoor Foundation.In recent years, The North Face, along with industry partners including the Outdoor Foundation, has witnessed a decline in outdoor participation and has made efforts to counteract the trend.
There were a whopping 10.1 billion outdoor outings in 2009, and 80 percent of participants say they plan to spend even more time participating in outdoor activities in 2010. These findings are part of the 2010 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, the only report of its kind tracking participation trends in outdoor recreation and sports with a focus on youth, diversity, and the future of the outdoors.