This summer, Columbia Sportswear has teamed up with the National Park Foundation to help get more kids outdoors. Through the sale of T-shirts from the brand’s National Park Collection, Columbia will donate up to $75,000 to the Open OutDoors for Kids initiative aimed at connecting more kids to the national parks through fun and engaging activities.
Research demonstrates that kids who spend time outdoors are healthier and do better in school. Kids who have opportunities for hands-on learning outdoors also demonstrate more interest in and are more proficient in science. Similarly, a young person’s understanding of history improves after visiting sites of cultural significance.
Yet with cutbacks in school funding for field trips and other barriers to access, kids today have fewer opportunities for experiential learning. At the same time, we are witnessing an epidemic of inactivity among children as they spend more time engaged in “screen time” as opposed to “green time,” resulting in rising rates of obesity and other issues. Most at risk are children from underserved, urban communities.
The National Park Foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids Initiative introduces and exposes kids — all kids — to experiential, outdoor experiences that promote physical and emotional health, civic engagement and long-term appreciation for nature. Using the resources of our nation’s more than 400 national parks, the program’s goal is to connect more children to their culture and heritage, enhance hands-on learning opportunities and deepen connections to the natural world.
Columbia’s National Park Collection includes ten limited-edition designs with images of national parks such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and more. For each national parks tee sold between June 15 and September 30, Columbia will donate $1 to the National Park Foundation for Open OutDoors for Kids.
The Columbia National Parks Collection T-shirts retail for $25 (you can get two for $30) and are available now from the company website. But hold off buying until tomorrow if you want to help get kids outdoors.
Note to Columbia — we would love to see these T-shirts available in women’s styles as well and some of our readers have commented as much.