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Nearly 400 Dallas youth will explore
the great outdoors this summer, thanks to a $50,000 Texas Park and Wildlife
Community Outdoor Outreach Program grant. Dallas Park and Recreation is using
the award to enhance its existing nature conservation program called Outdoor
Six core activities are a part of the
program: camping, geocaching, archery, fishing, mountain biking and nature
photography. Activities are conducted at various Dallas parks including Kidd
Springs, Bachman Lake, Kiest, Reverchon, and Fireside and Cedar Hill State
The Community Outdoor Outreach
Program Grant focuses on children who are physically/mentally disabled, low
income, female, and/or a part of an ethnic minority. Despite the emphasis
on children from underserved communities, children who are not a part of these
groups are still allowed to participate in the many adventures planned for the
Cedar Hill State Park is one of the
program’s partners and last year, hosted the Outdoor Adventures kickoff
celebration. Subsequently, Cedar Hill State Park was the location of two
overnight camping trips for the Outdoor Adventures program for 5-12 year olds
in March and June 2017.
In addition to using the grant for
core activities, Dallas has provided training to certify staff so they are able
to assist participants. Certifications include the International Mountain
Bicycling Association Ride Guide Certification, Master Outdoor Leadership
Training, National Outdoor Leadership School Wilderness First Aid Certification,
USA Archery Level 1 and 2 Certifications, Texas Park and Wildlife Certified
Angler, and Texas Park and Wildlife Kayak Training.
The grant funds a two-year program,
and once the tenure of the grant has expired, Dallas will be able to keep the
equipment it has acquired to continue outdoor programming for Dallas residents
of all ages.