Youth today are spending less time outdoors than any generation in human history. This decrease coincided with the skyrocketing rates of childhood obesity, diabetes, anxiety, and depression among children.

The Majesty of Nature- For All

Do you know the incredible feeling of being in nature? The beauty of California redwoods, the calm and thrill of the Pacific Ocean. We believe that time spent outdoors helps us be our healthiest, best selves. At the Y, we're a leader in programming connections to nature, and providing natural spaces, learning, and healthy fun to the families, seniors, adults and youth we serve. 

This looks like summer camps where kids who've never seen the ocean experience its majesty. Weekend retreats in the redwoods for women to relax, center, and breathe. School-based experiences led by Y Naturalists in National Parks. 

Get Outdoors!

Children are enjoying half as much time outdoors today as they did just 20 years ago, while spending more than 7½ hours every day in front of a screen. This decrease coincided with the skyrocketing rates of childhood obesity, diabetes, anxiety, and depression among children.

Get outdoors- a call to action! Youth today are spending less time outdoors than any generation in human history. Forty-two percent (42%) of low-income California parents say their children have never participated in outdoor activities, like camping or outdoor educational programming and there are children that we serve from the San Francisco Bay Area who have never seen the ocean.

The Y’s Response

To address this community challenge, the YMCA of San Francisco utilizes our outdoor spaces, knowledge, public partnerships, and our broad reach to provide healthy outdoor programming opportunities for all members of our communities. From our 900 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains to our outdoor classroom in the Marin Headlands, we are integrated into the natural landscape across the San Francisco Bay Area.

We also provide access to safe and open spaces within the communities we serve. We run 14 urban gardens across the Bay Area, facilitate trips for urban youth to explore the wonder of the Marin Headlands, teach young people how to ride bicycles and learn bike safety, and finally to recognize the nature in their own communities.

Some of the programmatic examples of how the Y is providing access to safe and healthy spaces include Y Bike, Earth Service Corps, Let's Move: Play, Learn, Serve, Work, Camp Jones Gulch YMCA, Urban Garden, My Home, My Community, My World, and more.

 

Support this Initiative 

You can support the Y's effort to promote safe and open spaces by making a gift today!