REI Donates to Help SF Rec & Park’s Youth Stewardship Program Thrive

415-831-2796 or rpdinfo@sfgov.org

Will Nicholls, REI
415-934-1938, tnichol@rei.com

REI Donates to Help SF Rec & Park’s Youth Stewardship Program Thrive
REI to present $10,000 Check to SF Rec and Park and Parks Trust

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD) is scheduled to receive a $10,000 donation through Parks Trust from REI to support RPD’s Youth Stewardship Program.  The donation event will take place on Saturday, July 30th, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. on top of Twin Peaks.  The Youth Stewardship Program (YSP) engages youth, 4th – 12th grade, in environmental education and service-learning projects in parks citywide.  Students are taught science, environmental education, local natural and cultural history and fundamental life skills.  The program is free of cost and available to any youth group in San Francisco.

This year, YSP has partnered with more than 38 teachers from 18 different schools serving more than 1000 students ranging from second to twelfth grade.  Together with YSP, the students have visited and restored 13 natural areas with an estimated work area of more than 32,000 square feet.  Some of the students also have participated in the pilot YSP bilingual program, learning environmental science in the outdoors in both Spanish and English.  The bilingual program will extend to include learning environmental science in Chinese and English coming school year.

“One of SF Rec and Park’s top priorities is to foster in youth an understanding of their important role in building healthy social and natural communities.” said, Phil Ginsburg, RPD General Manager.  “Through Youth Stewardship Program, we expose urban students to an outdoor learning environment that proves to be engaging and challenging mentally and physically.”

In an effort to provide long-term, consistent, and high-quality education and stewardship opportunities to as many youth as possible, YSP has received philanthropic funding as well as teamed up to form the Stewardship & Environmental Education Collaborative of San Francisco (SEEC-SF). Members include the Green Schoolyard Alliance, Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ), California Academy of Sciences, Kids in Parks and the Presidio. The founding organizations are united by the following themes: environmental justice, restoration and stewardship, place-based learning and biodiversity.

REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.

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