Many of the Initiatives programs bridge across several thematic areas and all themes are supported by more that one of the Initiative partners. Programs provided often engage multiple Initiative partners.
What drives us?
Because of the access to the Rio Grande and mountains bordering the Valley, one might assume that outdoor recreation would be easy for the youth of the region. That is simply not the case. We know that it requires three elements to have community-wide youth engagement in outdoor recreation: Places, People, and Participation.
We all understand that outdoor activity contributes to health, both physical and mental. What is often less understood are the barriers to outdoor activity among the most vulnerable youth in a community. Often, without a supportive family structure, access to outdoor recreation is limited.
Studies continue to point to outdoor activities as being vital to the health, well-being, and personality development of youth. Yet getting young people outside can be challenging in an increasingly digital world. Lack of organized programs and outdoor recreational facilities also contribute.
The challenges of providing outdoor programs for youth are formidable in the San Luis Valley. The relatively small population base of the region, about 50,000 people, limits the number of young people in each age bracket. The Valley is primarily rural making access to after school and weekend programs more difficult.