Take It Outside is BLM’s flagship youth engagement program. It was established to help ensure that young people from all backgrounds have access to outdoor recreational opportunities on public lands while fostering future generations of public land stewards. Stressing health, family, fun, and stewardship, Take It Outside provides opportunities for young people to engage in outdoor recreation, non-formal education, and volunteer projects.
Take It Outside was prompted by a growing national concern that children are spending significantly less time outdoors than previous generations; becoming more disconnected from nature; and increasingly showing the symptoms of an epidemic in childhood obesity. These issues were articulated in Richard Louv’s 2005 book “Last Child in the Woods.”
- The average American child can recognize 1,000 corporate logos but can't identify 10 plants or animals native to his or her own region.
- Unstructured outdoor activity is down by half from the previous generation.
- Children in the USA average just 30 minutes a week of unregulated time outdoors; however, their weekly electronic media exposure is almost 45 hours a week.
- The amount of outdoor, environmental education programs offered in our local schools has been decreasing in the last 10 years.
- Childhood obesity has doubled over the past 30 years for preschoolers and adolescents and more than tripled for children aged 6-11.
BLM staff host a wide variety of Take It Outside programs and activities on BLM lands from archaeology field tours to white water rafting and camping. Depending on your interest, you could be connected to a person who has experience in that area. To get connected with field staff, contact Patti Klein, firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will direct you to a person to help you.