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The Discover Outdoors Foundation

Thursday, March 28, 2013
Over the past year we've been working hard to bring the Discover Outdoors Foundation into being. Read about a "day in the life" here.

As those of us who live and thrive in New York City know all too well, it can be easy to forget that Manhattan is an island. Or that Brooklyn and Queens are part of the Long Island Sound. But a walk along the Hudson River during Manhattanhenge, or summertime bike ride out to Breezy Point, are usually enough to remind us that these seemingly giant hunks of concrete we inhabit are really landmasses connected to nature via an intricate network of rivers, canals, beaches, and estuaries that form our beautiful New York Bay.


Now imagine that you're a kid who doesn't even know those things exist -- doesn't even know they're possible. You've never stepped foot on a single patch of New York City's 578 miles of coastline. You never knew there were 10 National Parks in New York City and northern New Jersey, and 8 state parks in New York City alone. You never knew you lived just a few miles from wetlands, grasslands, nature preserves, and bird sanctuaries. Maybe you don't even know what those words mean, or how they could possibly have anything to do with you.

Now imagine what your life might be like in the future if you had access to those things, versus if you never did.

There are 1.1 million kids in NYC public schools right now. And experts agree that there's a nature-deficit disorder among them.

That's where the Discover Outdoors Foundation comes in. An outgrowth of Discover Outdoors the company, the Foundation is a brand-new effort, committed to getting at least 1,000 students outside in the coming two years of its existence. Working with their teachers, our first-rate network of guides will give these students outdoor experiences that directly relate to their science classes, that connect them with the natural world which is their birthright, that build leadership skills to serve them and their communities for life.

You can help. Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn. Sign up for our newsletter. And watch this space for information about upcoming events, fundraisers, and volunteer opportunities. We're going to make big changes here in New York City and ultimately in the world, and we're going to have a lot of fun doing it.

Submitted by Beth Harrison, Managing Director, Discover Outdoors Foundation