Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What is North Texas Kids Outside?

What is North Texas Kids Outside?

North Texas Kids Outside (NTKO) is a project created at the 2012 Outdoor Nation Signature Summit in Austin, TX on July 15, 2012. NTKO received a $2,500 seed grant from Outdoor Nation to begin the project and has since sponsored 16 under-served, urban families from North Texas to visit regional Texas State Parks for a camping adventure with the TPWD program Texas Outdoor Family

Camping at McKinney Falls State Park near Austin, TX
with a The North Face Minera 30 Pack

Our project sponsored the families so they could visit a regional Texas state park. Our group and volunteers assisted park rangers in providing outdoor recreation activities for the families and we camped with them the entire weekend during 5 separate events. 

We helped each family set  up camp, cook healthy meals, engage in outdoor activities, and gave each family in our program an outdoor fun kit full of items they could continue to use in their own local outdoor spaces, like a back yard or a park.

Coleman and Big Agnes tents
McKinney Falls State Park

The NTKO project has received generous donations from community businesses, families, and organizations:

• Texas Outdoor Family – Allowed NTKO to partner with their program to take families camping. Reduced the fee for each family from $65 to $25 (for a total of 14 families)
    • The North Face - sponsored me to be an iReporter and attend the 2012 Outdoor Nation Summit in Austin, TX. She received $250 worth of The North Face gear, clothing and an iPad2
      • Merrell - Sponsored me to be a Merrell Delegate at the 2012 Outdoor Nation Summit in Denver, CO. She received $250 of clothing and shoes & a voucher for an additional pair of free shoes
         Logic Designs & North Texas Graphics - Donated time, material, and equipment to design the North Texas Kids Outside Logo and t-shirts
          • Sonic - Is allowing us to keep 100% of the profits from selling Community Cards for $5 each (with each card containing a value of $25 in coupons)[We didn’t do very well selling these – only made $20, but could have done better]
            • REI Plano - Mr. Charles Blaum has donated 100 water bottles, 100 nature journals, and over 50 coupons
              • City of Dallas Storm Water Management – Ms. Sonya Batts donated 20 reusable, hand-crank flashlights and educational materials
                • Buffalo Wild Wings (Denton, TX) – Allowed us to have a fundraiser at their location and we were able to keep 10% of the pre-taxed food sales from patrons who used a special coupon for our project, North Texas Kids Outside. We made $32.35.
                  • Whole Earth Provision Company – Donated: 90 store gift certificates ($10 each) for participants in our project; 90 gift certificates for Texas Parks and Wildlife ($5 each); 90 carabiners; 90 Leave No Trace luggage tags; 100 wooden airplane toys (Est. value: $1350+)

                  Our logo was inspired by Cassie Cox, the Outdoor Education Specialist at Texas Outdoor Family. Thank you, Cassie! The helpful staff at Logic Designs and North Texas Graphics have generously donated their time and supplies to turn Cassie's creation into digital logos for our project! Thank you Logic Designs & North Texas Graphics!

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