EverWild - Connect with Nature the EverWild Way
Get to know LA in a whole new way! Explore local nature through hands-on learning, child-led exploration, and foster environmental stewardship with the entire family!
What does your organization do?
EverWild is a community that fosters environmental stewards through family adventures, place-based learning, and conservancy projects.
Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.
EverWild will provide 200 youth and families with hands-on opportunities to become exposed to and engaged with nature in a meaningful way. The Environmental Conservancy Program will recruit youth, ages 11 to 17, to become environmental stewards while building 21st Century Skills. Family Adventures will provide weekly activities to bring families together in local nature destinations in and around Los Angeles to cultivate family bonds, build community, and allow children and families to play.
Which of the play metrics will your activation impact?
- Access to open space and park facilities
- Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play
- Number of children enrolled in afterschool programs
Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?
- LA is the best place to CREATE
- LA is the best place to CONNECT
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?
- Trainings and/or in-person engagements
- Encourage businesses to change practices
- Influence individual behavior
- Connect Angelenos with impactful volunteer opportunities
Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to play?
According to the Nature of Americans, the connection to nature is not a dispensable amenity but, rather, is essential to the health, economic prosperity, quality of life, and social well-being of all Americans. EverWild combines this with 21st Century Skills (collaboration, teamwork, creativity, imagination, critical thinking, and problem solving).
Family Adventures is a weekly opportunity for families to connect with the outdoors in a supportive environment at local nature destinations. Community partners will provide space for EverWild and highlight events and activities offered at the local destination. Every adventure, following a similar framework, offers child and family-led decision making, open play, and connection to nature. Family members will choose from activities and will have free time to explore and play on their own. Experts in various fields or from the destination will be a resource and meet with families to provide information and/or an interactive activity. Family Adventure allows both the child and parent/guardian to explore and learn, grow in confidence and knowledge, and build community-growth values with other families. Each adventure is followed by a survey to provide feedback, suggestions for locations and activities, and opportunities for families to take the lead in upcoming events.
The Environmental Conservancy Program (ECP) is an after school program that works with youth ages 11-17. ECP combines environmental stewardship, positive youth development practices such as involving and engaging youth as equal partners (youth.gov), implementing evidence-based standards to conduct meaningful service learning (National Youth Leadership Council), and open play. Led by qualified staff, youth work together to develop a long-term project to create a positive impact and meaningful change. EverWild will offer cohorts throughout the year at community gardens and the Santa Monica Mountain Range. Based on youth interest, the group will design their own project. ECP offers a high staff to youth ratio to allow seamless integration if youth want to participate after the initial start date. Projects include composting, engaging businesses in green practices, and sustainable trail maintenance techniques.
To increase access, EverWild will continue to develop partnerships with open space and park facilities to host activities and to present events, programs, internships, summer employment, and volunteer opportunities they offer. EverWild will offer client support for public transportation and van rentals to bring young people and families to and from program, as needed. EverWild will document partnerships with memorandums of understanding, letters of agreement, and written communication with open spaces. EverWild will obtain feedback from children and families on quality of space and overall experience. For reporting outcomes on after school participation,EverWild will require sign-in and attendance logs.
How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to play
EverWild will engage the westside community and Central Los Angeles for the LA2050 initiatives, ensuring diverse demographic engagement. EverWild will provide client support such as gas cards of public transportation costs allowing youth and families with transportation barriers access to EverWild programs. Additional strategies include developing nature destinations and partnerships closer to community areas where youth and families are signing up for program. This “on-wheels” model allows for EverWild to easily replicate and expand services. EverWild has provided programming at over twenty natural destinations including community gardens, park districts, museums, recreation areas, and beaches.
EverWild will use multiple strategies to engage Angelenos from the westside and Central LA communities: (1) Social media including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other on-line platforms including Crowdsourcing (to increase volunteerism), Eventbrite, e-mails, and on-line newsletters, (2) Community, business, and partner marketing strategies including newspapers such as the Argonaut, flyers, posters, and co-planned events, and (3) Community and neighborhood fairs, markets, and festivals such as the LA Nature Fest held by the Natural History Museum. EverWild is committed to using culturally competent language in all marketing strategies, including translating all documentation to meet family language needs.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.
EverWild uses both LA2050 and agency metrics to measure success. EverWild defines and measures success by: (1) Amount of open spaces/partners, (2) Number of individuals and families that attend program, (3) Number of children that participate in either ECP or at the open spaces/partners that EverWild introduces, (4) Number of participating businesses, (5) Percentage in changes or influence of individual behaviors, and (6) Number of volunteers at EverWild.
EverWild utilizes the following benchmarks to define and measure success specific to programs, as well. For ECP, EverWild tracks (1) Number of youth participating, (2) Number of youth that demonstrate growth in 21st Century skills (collaboration, teamwork, creativity, imagination, critical thinking, and problem solving) using the General Self-Efficacy Scale, (3) Number of youth that demonstrate growth in technical skills such as gardening and composting using pre/post skills assessments, (4) Number of community and business partners involved, (5) Retention rates, and (6) Family engagement. For Family Adventures, EverWild utilizes the following benchmarks: (1) Number of families and individuals participating in Family Adventure, (2) Number of individuals that access EverWild resources and website, (3) Number of returning families, (4) Number of families and children that attend additional programming at partner organizations. EverWild also provides youth and family satisfaction surveys for continued improvement.
Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?
EverWild’s goals include creating a strong community for families invested in the nature immersion philosophy and an opportunity to replicate and expand programming to more communities in Los Angeles. Within five years, the goal is to create an online community forum to increase nature immersion resources for families and educators, increase community building through the lens of nature immersion, build tools for families to increase bonding and a methodology to encourage child-led activities within the family, and increase professional development tools for nature immersion practitioners. EverWild’s mission is to intentionally create a pipeline for young people to continue nature education and participate in the EverWild Way throughout their childhood, young adulthood, and as parents. While EverWild is mainly serving the Westside and Central Los Angeles communities, the goal is offer ongoing Environmental Conservancy Program (ECP) and Family Adventures at multiple locations throughout the city of Los Angeles to offer all residents an opportunity to engage with nature in a meaningful and hands-on way: the EverWild Way.
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