Parks in Focus® just kicked off its 16th summer of connecting youth to nature through photography! Throughout the summer, we’ll provide weekly updates on our programs in Arizona, California, Michigan, Montana and Oklahoma. Here is what’s happening around the country this week:
On Monday, we kicked off our first of four Grand Canyon in Focus trips with 12 youth from Talent Search TRiO of Northern Arizona University. Grand Canyon in Focus is a six-day program where participants learn basic outdoor skills and Leave No Trace practices, go on challenging hikes, float down the Colorado River, meet with professional photographers and artists, learn about careers in parks and conservation and take thousands of photographs of their adventures as they explore Grand Canyon National Park.
Each Grand Canyon in Focus program is led and facilitated by a team of enthusiastic and trained staff from Parks in Focus® (meet our 2014 staff) and the Grand Canyon. Park rangers provide on-the-ground interpretation, and Parks in Focus® staff lead activities, games and photography lessons from the Parks in Focus® curriculum. The trips are free to participants, and are made possible by the Udall Foundation, Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon Association, our youth organization partners and generous donors.
A new photo exhibit in the Headquarters building at Grand Canyon National Park features 42 photos taken by our 2013 Grand Canyon in Focus participants from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Flagstaff, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley and Talent Search TRiO of Northern Arizona University. The photos will be on display through July 17.
On Monday, we hosted an outing for youth from the Cesar Chavez Clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County to Bluff Creek Park. Participants practiced photography lessons on focus and perspective as they explored the park and identified local flora and fauna.
Later this week, we will host an alumni outing for past Parks in Focus® participants from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County to Thunderbird Lake State Park. Participants will meet with naturalists, learn about plant and animal adaptations and build upon lessons learned.
Stay tuned for more photos, media releases and other updates from all of our summer 2014 programs.
Parks in Focus® is made possible through grants and donations.To help us continue to provide opportunities for underserved youth to connect with nature through photography, click here.