Two Richmond nonprofits received a $100,000 investment from the George Miller Youth Fund that will be used to provide underserved local youth with opportunities to connect to nature, it was announced Thursday.
The funds will provide for field trips, camp-outs and educational classes among other outdoors activities, according to the Iron Triangle nonprofit Pogo Park, which is splitting the funds along with fellow local nonprofit YES Nature to Neighborhoods.
Pogo Park is known for building play areas and safety zones for Richmond’s children, while YES is already in the business of providing youth access to experiences in nature.
The $100,000 infusion comes after the Outdoor Foundation awarded Pogo Park and Groundwork Richmond a total of $200,000 for the similar mission of providing urban youth greater access to parks and outdoor areas.
The investment from the George Miller Youth Fund, named after retired local Congressman George Miller, will be put to good use, according to the nonprofits.
As part of the investment, East Bay Regional Parks (EBRP) rangers will provide nature programming at Pogo Park’s play areas for children. EBRP will also launch a year-long “Richmond Rangers” adventure program bringing YES youth on field trips to regional parks.
Pogo Park says it will use its share of the $100,000 to create a Nature Club offering study sessions and activities, including a camping night at Elm Playlot in the Iron Triangle neighborhood.
Meanwhile, YES says it will use its grant funds to provide scholarships to graduating seniors who complete a passport of camp, outdoor leadership, and community service experiences.
“There is a critical need for children, especially urban youth, to have a relationship with nature in order to eventually become stewards of the natural world,” Congressman Miller said. “Many kids in Richmond have no contact with green environments; with forests, and rivers and mountains and fields. These grants and partnerships will provide hundreds of children living in Richmond’s tough central core neighborhoods with the opportunity to connect with nature right in their own neighborhood and beyond.”
On Tuesday, a celebration for the grant is set to take place at Elm Playlot at Elm Avenue and 8th Street in Richmond. The event starts at 5 p.m. and will include food, drink, music and several speeches from city officials, nonprofit participants, residents, and George Miller himself.
Photo: YES Nature to Neighborhood.