Google — along with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell — announced a $165,000 sponsorship benefiting Open Outdoors for Kids during an event at Google’s Kirkland campus this weekend.
Open Outdoors for Kids is an initiative by the National Park Foundation that endeavors to connect more kids to national parks in a fun and engaging way to foster their education and promote self-discovery. This falls under the larger umbrella of the Every Kid in a Park initiative, which funds transportation to bring 1,700 under served children to the parks for multi-day environmental education projects.
“On behalf of Interior, I want to thank Google for their generous donation to help fourth graders from disadvantaged communities experience the great outdoors,” Secretary Jewell said during the event.
What better way to announce this initiative than by hosting 60 Seattle-area elementary-aged children — with the help of YMCA and the U.S. Department of the Interior — for a camp out on Google’s campus.
“Spending a day and night on the Cross Kirkland Corridor for these youngsters is a reminder that there are accessible public lands close by every community that enable family, friends, and kids of all ages to enjoy nature,” Secretary Jewell said. “Experiences like we’re having today not only provide meaningful learning opportunities, but also plant seeds that will nurture future generations of outdoor stewards.”
For those classrooms that can’t make it into the mountains, Google partners with educators through their Google Expeditions to create free National Parks lessons.
“Google has always made it a priority to help students discover the world — one way is through technology like Google Expeditions that allow students to travel the world in virtual reality,” said Darcy Nothnagle, Google’s head of external affairs, NW. “This grant is the next step, helping students visit parks in person to experience the outdoors throughout the country.”