PUBLIC INFORMATIONMedia Contact: Tonya Vaden, Marketing Coordinator
Date: July 17, 2017
Parks and Recreation Receives Grant to Expand Access to Outdoor Program
The City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation Department has received a State of Florida, Department of Juvenile Justice grant for the Outdoor Outreach Program to build relationships with youth throughout Pensacola. The Pensacola Parks and Recreation Outdoor Outreach Program (PROOP) provides positive, life-changing outdoor experiences and opportunities for urban children to grow through outdoor adventures and to learn about their regional ecosystem.
According to the American Institutes for Research, children who participate in outdoor learning show higher gains in conflict resolution, increased confidence, self- esteem, positive relationships among students, and reduced discipline and behavior problems.
The grant funds are used to cover the costs for at-risk youth to participate in the program’s Adventure Camps and Fishing Camps. "It's great to see these kids who may not have had the opportunity to do these camps get the chance to learn new skills. Seeing their smiles when they catch that first fish or shoot a bow and hit a target for the first time and realize they're accomplishing something they hadn't done before is exciting," said Tim Land, Outdoor Pursuits Coordinator.
The Fishing Camp is a week-long camp that introduces kids to the sport of fishing and includes teaching basic fishing skills such as knot-tying and baiting a hook, as well as taking kids to fish in some of Pensacola’s best fishing spots. The Adventure Camp is a week-long camp that includes an introduction to fishing, kayaking, archery, and stand-up paddle boarding.
Land says that many of the kids have asked if they can come back and try more camps. The Outdoor Outreach Program has three weeks of camp remaining including Advanced Fishing July 17-21 and two more Adventure Camps July 24-28 and July 31-August 4. Although camp registration is closed for these programs, Parks and Recreation will continue working with the department's day camp locations to include more children in who qualify for these programs.
For more information visit PlayPensacola.com or call (850) 436-5670.