Waukegan Park District helps kids connect to nature

Waukegan Park District submission
Posted6/9/2012 8:47 AM

The Waukegan Park District, and its partners, the Sajai Foundation, the National Recreation and Park Association, and North Shore Gas are connecting children with nature through the Wise Kids Outdoors program, an after-school and summer camp program that leads children through 20 supervised outdoor adventures to learn about animals, weather, the earth and more.

Thanks to the support of North Shore Gas, the Waukegan Park District is able to offer the Wise Kids Outdoor program for free. This program inspires children to explore nature and investigate the world around them by exposing participants to the advantages of being outside. In addition, Wise Kids Outdoors connects nature to health so children learn the importance of a balanced life that includes being active outdoors and eating well.

According to Mike Mayfield, recreation supervisor, nearly 130 children will participate in the Wise Kids Outdoors program in 2012 through one of two full-day camp programs.

"Many children have never had someone introduce them to the outdoors, so they have little appreciation for the beauty and appeal of the natural world," said Melissa Hanson, president of the Sajai Foundation. "Wise Kids Outdoors can be the spark that gets kids outdoors under the safe supervision of youth program leaders and shows them that experiencing nature can be a fun, healthy and rewarding experience."