This week, the Udall Foundation, in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County (BGC), launched its second Parks in Focus initiative in Oklahoma City to introduce another 20 BGC youth to local parks through digital photography. [Read about our first Oklahoma initiative here].
Through a series of day trips and weekend outings, the youth participants (ages 10 to 14) will spend more than 50 hours outdoors over the next two weeks learning about nature and photography while exploring local parks and natural areas in and around Oklahoma City.
The spring initiative kicks off with afterschool and weekend field trips to Memorial Park, Martin Park, Roman Nose State Park and Myriad Gardens, where participants will learn fundamentals of digital photography, identify local flora and fauna, practice basic camping skills, and receive instruction from skilled photographers. The program will culminate with a weekend camping trip to Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge where participants will photograph iconic bison and playful prairie dogs, hike to the top of Elk Mountain, meet with refuge staff and participate in a hands-on stewardship project during their visit.
“The Parks in Focus experiences for Boys & Girls Club members in the fall were amazing, and we look forward to providing similar opportunities for more of our members this spring,” said Jane Sutter, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County. “Allowing the youth to experience nature through the lens of a camera was truly a transformational experience, and the wonderful photographs they took are visual reminders of their unleashed creativity.”
Photo highlights taken by participants from both the October 2012 and April 2013 Parks in Focus programs will be on display at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art from May 16 through June 2.
Parks in Focus: Oklahoma is made possible by a generous grant from the Inasmuch Foundation. Additional program support is being provided by the Boy Scout New Horizons District Troop 523 and Oklahoma City Metro Camera Club.