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December 12, 2008
In Reply Refer To
8300 (250) P
Information Bulletin No. 2009-034
To:                   All State Directors
                        Attn: Assistant State Directors and Deputy State Directors
From:               Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject:           “Take It Outside: Children and Nature” Program Announcement and Incentive
Funding, Project Criteria and Application Process Information
DD:   01/30/09
Program Area: Education and Interpretation; Recreation and Visitor Services; Cultural and Paleontological Resources; Fish, Wildlife and Plant Conservation; and National Landscape Conservation System
Purpose: This Information Bulletin (IB) announces several aspects of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) “Take It Outside (TIO): Children and Nature” Program including:
  • A call to the field for project proposals in support of the “Take It Outside (TIO): Children and Nature” Program;
  • Funding information for the Fiscal Year 09 incentive program;
  • Proposal information, form and application process; and
  • Proposal nomination criteria for awarding of funds 
The goals of the TIO Program are 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:   State Directors are asked to notify their field offices about the TIO incentive FY 2009 funding opportunity including the proposal submission process and deadlines. All interested field offices are invited to submit project proposals.
Key activities and dates are:
  • State and field offices should submit project proposals using the incentive funding application and nomination criteria in Attachment 1 to Patti Klein at: Patti_Klein@blm.gov by January 30, 2009.
  • The National TIO Team will assist in ranking project proposals and distributing the incentive funding money to Field projects that meet the National TIO program objectives. Funds for successful projects will be awarded by March 1, 2009. 
Timeframe: Effective immediately.
Budget Impact: Minimal. The BLM has identified $401,000, to fund TIO for Fiscal Year 2009. 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 because of 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 upon 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 program focuses on promoting and expanding existing 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 have been established as part of the TIO Program:  
  • National Take It Outside Team which will assist field and state Offices with networking and provide resources to engage children and families in outdoor activities;
  • TIO Program website, a source for technical assistance and external resource information for facilitating and sustaining TIO program activities and partnerships; and
  • FY09 Partnership incentive funding 
The BLM’s TIO Program is a priority for both the Secretary and the BLM Director. The Division of Recreation and Visitor Services in coordination with the Office of the National Landscape Conservation System and Community Programs are leading the 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: If you have any questions concerning this IB, please contact Bob Ratcliffe, Chief, Division of Recreation and Visitor Services at 202-452-5040 or Patti Klein, National Stewardship Coordinator / National “Take It Outside: Children and Nature Program” Coordinator at 801-539-4235.
Signed by:                                                                 Authenticated by:
Edwin L. Roberson                                                    Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                     Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Planning and Renewable Resources
1 Attachment:

Last updated: 10-21-2009