Can We Get 10 Million Kids Outdoors? Yes, We CAN!


by Shelley O'Brien | Posted on January 31, 2013

We know the statistics. Kids are spending eight hours or more in front of screens each day. The number of children in the U.S. who are obese has doubled in the last decade. Children are declining in creativity, concentration, and social skills. But, as park professionals, we know that by working together we can make a change in each of our communities by getting more kids spending more time outdoors in our parks and park programs.


Created by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) with NRPA as the lead partner, the 10 Million Kids Outdoors campaign is bringing resources to park and recreation agencies to get more kids outdoors. Park and recreation agencies are uniquely equipped with expertise, access, programs, and resources to make a significant change in the lives of children. Working together we can reach this ambitious goal and show the combined impact of public parks and recreation.


10 Million Kids Outdoors



How does my agency get involved?

First, you need to register your park and recreation agency at
It will take less than 5 minutes to register. Once you are registered you can access best practices, activities, and program opportunities with both NWF and NRPA. Also, there will be exclusive grant funding opportunities to expand and create additional environmental education opportunities.


In return, we ask for you to report how many children you’re getting outdoors. We have a simple reporting device we will ask you to fill out every 6 months, which will help track progress toward the 10 million goal.


Why should my agency get involved? 

Above all, you'll be helping to reverse staggering trends and create a generation of happier, healthier children with more awareness and connection to the natural world, but here are three other good reasons:


  1. Learn from the best – your peers from across the country. We will be posting case studies, best practices, and creative curriculums on the website for you to use.  Have a specific question? Start a discussion on NRPA Connect.

  2. Apply for Grant Funding. Periodically, NRPA will have funding opportunities for 10 Million Kids Outdoors registrants. For example, we closed an opportunity in mid-January with $35,000 in grants. Don’t miss out on the next opportunity

  3. Receive monthly updates on program opportunities. 10 Million Kids Outdoors registrants will receive a monthly e-newsletter highlighting best practices, grant opportunities, and program resources. We will highlight the best information and resources to grow your program.


Show the impact of parks and recreation. Working together, we can cultivate a connection with nature for this generation which will impact parks and recreation and the environment for years to come.

What are some ways you think parks and recreation can help get 10 million more children outdoors over the next three years?  How have you had success getting children connected to nature? What resources or tools would you need to get more kids outside? 

Written by: Shelley O'Brien, CAE, CFRE, Senior Manager for Fundraising.


I really love that this has become such an importance to people. It makes me happy to see that instead of settling in a world full of bitter flavors that we are looking for the sweetness in healthy and fun lifestyles! by Taylor on 03/19/2013

This is a great campaign to get kids outdoors. The National Wildlife Federations decision to partner with NRPA is an ideal partnership opportunity for both organizations. Park Districts provide many resources that can aide in getting kids outside. Park Districts can benefit from this campaign as well as Park Districts consistently look for new program ideas to get residents involved, outdoor programs seem like an obvious and great program idea. Outdoor programs are also very cost efficient for park districts and serve a community and national need of getting kids off the couch and outside. This campaign should also make people more aware of the NWF and its mission to protect wildlife for our children’s future. by Nate on 04/08/2013

It is a good feeling to see an association like the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) taking action on this issue of our youth. It is not the same now as it was when we were children 30 years ago. Because of technology, it has made growing up too easy for our youth. Thirty years ago, we looked for ways to get outside and have fun. Nowadays, the fun children look to have is sitting in front of a computer or TV playing video games, watching more shows, and movies. Because of this, children are losing out on their youth and becoming obese in some circumstances due to no outdoor activity. I like how NRPA is taking an active role in getting communities to spend more time getting outdoor activities to their children. By registering and becoming a member, NRPA is providing the tools to make kids getting outdoors a reality. All this site asks for return is some statistics. I say that is a great deal. Instead of just relying on youth sports for outdoor activities, now we can concentrate on getting everyone out and about, and getting our youth healthier and stronger as once before. To the question asked on this article on if we can get 10 million kids outdoors, I would say that NRPA’s leadership in taking steps to make this a reality is a positive move to reach this objective. by Francisco on 04/12/2013


Bringing Nature to Kids in Urban Environments

Robert Carmona | December 1, 2016

5 Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season

Allison Colman | November 18, 2016

EPA Environmental Justice Action Agenda: Major Steps Forward, and Opportunities for More

Robert García and Marianne Engelman Lado | November 4, 2016

Leave a comment

Blog comments are moderated and will be posted once approved.

Enter the code shown above:

Follow Us

Recent Posts

Popular Posts


22377 Belmont Ridge Road    Ashburn, Va 20148-4501    800.626.NRPA (6772)    © NRPA, All Rights Reserved