The National Park Foundation, the official non-profit of America’s national parks, and L.L.Bean announced a year-long effort to increase outdoor recreation among families and introduce more children to America’s national parks than ever before.
The Million Moment Mission is a program created in celebration of L.L.Bean’s 100-year anniversary to provide $1 million in support to the National Park Foundation’s “America’s Best Idea” program through a national movement to share stories, ideas, and photos of outdoor experiences.
This program is launched on the heels of a survey jointly created by L.L.Bean and the National Park Foundation which found that not only are children today not spending as much time outdoors as their parents did, more than a third of parents say they prefer to spend time indoors and 59 percent report that busy schedules often make it a challenge to get outside.
“Our founder, Leon Leonwood believed that spending time outdoors was fundamental to happiness in life. This belief was the guiding principal our company was founded on and still continues to drive us in all we do, 100 years later,” said Chris McCormick, CEO of L.L.Bean, in a news release.
“Through the decades we have received many letters and stories from people sharing their passion for nature and outdoor recreation. In the world we live in today we have the ability to share and influence the conversation in a way we hope will re-ignite America’s love affair with the great outdoors and help families pass that passion on to the next generation.”
“There is no better way to safeguard our nation’s treasures and inspire new generations of outdoor enthusiasts then by introducing a young person to our national parks,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. Through the America’s Best Idea grant program the National Park Foundation is helping to bring youth from underserved communities into the parks for outdoor excursions year round where they will participate in a variety of educational and experiential activities.
National Parks — A Year-Round Treasure
According to National Park Foundation, many people don’t realize winter is one the most magnificent times to visit our national parks with beautiful scenery and smaller crowds. The survey showed slightly more than one in four people (28 percent) say they have never visited a national park.
Whether viewing the snowcapped rim of the Grand Canyon, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the magical backdrop of Maine’s Acadia National Park, or enjoying the temperate waters of south Florida’s Biscayne Bay—winter is an excellent time to experience the magic of America’s national parks in a whole new way.
At Yellowstone National Park, for example, just five percent of the annual three million visitors come during the winter months, and at Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave State Park and many other parks across the country, it’s possible to receive a personal guided tour by park rangers who, in the summer, would be hosting tours for large groups.
Making the Most of Winter Outdoor Moments
“One of the barriers to getting outdoors this time of year can simply be the temperatures for many,” L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School guide Rob Hutchison said.
In fact, weather was the number one reason parents gave for staying indoors.
Note: This is the first of a 2-part series on the L.L. Bean partnership with National Parks Foundation
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will flow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.