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February 20, 2008
In Reply Refer To:
8300 (250 P
Information Bulletin No. 2008-045
To:          All Field Officials
From:      Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject: “Take It Outside: Children and Nature Initiative” Program Announcement and
                Incentive Funding, Project Criteria and Application Process Information
                                                                                                 DD: 3/14/08; 4/15/08; and 5/1/08
Program Area: Environmental Education; Recreation and Visitor Services; Cultural and Paleontological Resources; Fish, Wildlife and Plant Conservation; and National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS).
Purpose: This Information Bulletin (IB) announces several aspects of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) “Take It Outside: (TIO) Children and Nature Initiative” including:
  1. The selection of Patti Klein, BLM’s National Stewardship Coordinator, as the National “Take It Outside: Children and Nature Initiative” Coordinator;
  2. A request to identify a contact person from each State for the National TIO Team;
  3. A call to the Field for project proposals in support of the “TIO Children and Nature” Initiative”;
  4. Funding information for the FY08 incentive program;
  5. Proposal information, form and application process; and
  6. Proposal nomination criteria for awarding of funds.
The goal of the TIO Initiative is to encourage more children and their families to spend more time outdoors on the public lands; to improve the overall health of our Nation’s children; and to promote stewardship of the public lands.  
Policy/Action:   Each State Director is asked to select one Field or State Office employee as the State contact for the National TIO Team, led by Patti Klein. The State contact’s duties will be limited primarily to disseminating information via email to Field and State Offices; serving as the point of contact for the State; and  participating as liaison to the National TIO Team and Coordinator.
The National TIO Team will work to identify agency strategies to increase participation of youth in existing or new BLM outdoor and environmental education programs; promote and develop new partnerships with other Federal agencies and/or Non-Governmental Organizations in support of the goal to engage more children in nature; serve as the technical experts of the TIO Initiative for the BLM; and promote the TIO Initiative both internally and externally.
Key activities and dates are:
  • The name, email address, and telephone number for each State contact should be sent to Patti Klein at: Patti_Klein@blm.gov by March 14, 2008
  • Using the incentive funding application and nomination criteria in Attachment 1, State and Field Offices should submit project proposals to Patti Klein at: Patti_Klein@blm.gov by April 15, 2008.
  • The National TIO team will assist Patti in ranking project proposals and distributing the incentive funding money to field projects that meet the national Take it Outside program objectives. Funds for successful projects will be awarded by May 1, 2008.
Timeframe: Effective immediately.
Budget Impact: Minimal. The BLM has identified $225,000 in existing program funding for the FY 2008 TIO incentive funding program. Funds can be used by State and Field Offices to support projects or programs, leverage partner support and provide assistance to on-the-ground efforts that promote outdoor activities of children and families.
Background: The TIO Initiative 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.” In response to these growing national concerns over childhood inactivity outdoors, natural resource agency policy-makers are promoting a nationwide effort to encourage children to take part in outdoor activities.
As children are becoming increasingly disconnected from the natural environment (via computers, video games, television, and fear of the risks associated with being outside), they are losing a basic understanding of the connections between humans and the natural world – such as the air we breathe, the water we drink, other species, and the natural resources on which human life depends. The BLM and many other Federal agencies are taking on the challenge of attempting to reconnect the Nation’s youth and families with the many benefits of spending time outdoors. 
The BLM’s TIO Initiative focuses on promoting and expanding existing or new BLM programs that engage children and families in outdoor activities.  The BLM annually reaches over three million children through existing education and recreation programs. The following are already underway as part of the new TIO Initiative: 
  • Establishing a national TIO Initiative Team that will assist Field and State Offices with networking and provide resources to engage children and families in outdoor activities;
  • Revising and updating the National TIO Initiative website, which will be a source for technical assistance and external resource information for facilitating and sustaining TIO Initiative activities and partnerships; and
  • Establishing partnership incentive funding beginning in FY 2008.
The BLM’s TIO Initiative is a priority for the Secretary and for the BLM Director. The BLM leadership asked the Assistant Director for Renewable Resources and Planning (AD 200), in coordination with the NLCS office (WO-170) and the Division of Recreation and Visitor Services (WO-250), to lead this effort.
Manual/Handbook Section Affected: None.
Coordination: This IB was coordinated with Environmental Education and Stewardship Education Specialists; Cultural and Paleontological Resource Specialists; Fisheries, Wildlife and Plant biologists; the National Landscape Conservation System Office, and the Recreation and Visitor Services Division.
Contact: Patti Klein, National Stewardship Coordinator / National “Take It Outside: Children and Nature Initiative” Coordinator; (801) 539-4235.
Signed by:                                                             Authenticated by:
Edwin L. Roberson                                                Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                  Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning
1 Attachment:

Last updated: 10-21-2009