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Our 1-day Summit on Connecting to Nature in an Urban World, April 19, features a morning plenary and roundtable sessions followed by interactive workshops and walkshops in the afternoon. Building on the Summit is our Conference, April 20-21, featuring keynotes speakers, hands-on workshops and networking opportunities.

Please note: Schedules are now locked from being changed. If you would like to make changes to your schedule, please come see us at the registration desk. See you in Vancouver!
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Thursday, April 20 • 11:15am - 12:30pm
The Inspire Initiative: Empowering Colorado Youth to Develop Strategies for Strengthening Their Connections to Nature LIMITED
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Limited Capacity seats available

Great Outdoors Colorado launched the "Inspire Initiative" in 2015. This innovative grant program engages Colorado youth in identifying barriers to nature access in their communities and in developing localized strategies to address those barriers. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the ongoing planning processes in sixteen Colorado communities and the innovative strategies proposed for funding to date. As a case study, we will also look into the youth engagement and planning methods utilized in Garfield County, Colorado.

A diverse coalition of entities in Garfield county, including several nonprofit organizations that provide outdoor programming and services to children, formed to apply for "Inspire Initiative" planning funding. The grant funds an 18-month youth participatory planning effort through which the coalition must identify new or improved Places, Programs and Pathways for accessing nearby nature. In this presentation, we will examine the challenges and opportunities presented by employing a coalition-based, youth-led planning process to address access to nature.

We will also highlight how a partnership between GOCO and the Natural Leaders Network has supported the growth of some of these Inspire youth leaders through the Colorado Regional Legacy Camp.

avatar for Juan Martinez

Juan Martinez

Senior Advisor, Children & Nature Network
Juan is a nationally-recognized and award-winning environmental justice activist whose childhood was transformed by the power of nature. He is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Ambassador for The North Face, and serves on the Wilderness Society Board of Directors.

avatar for Jackie Miller

Jackie Miller

Director of Communications, Great Outdoors Colorado
Over the course of nearly two decades in the grant-making industry, including 13 years at Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Jackie has created, managed, and directed initiatives to impact others’ lives. In 2015 she spearheaded the launch of Generation Wild, an unprecedented movement... Read More →
avatar for Rebecca Colbert, PhD

Rebecca Colbert, PhD

Landscape Architect and Researcher, MIG, Inc
Rebecca Colbert is a licensed landscape architect and researcher at the design and planning firm MIG in Denver, Colorado. Her work centers on the development of innovative children’s environments in a broad range of settings from parks and zoos to schools and urban corridors. She... Read More →
avatar for Carolyn Verheyen

Carolyn Verheyen

Principal, MIG, Inc
I'm passionate about helping people nurture a deep and caring connection with the natural world in all its forms and beauty. My work spans many areas that do just that, and our firm, MIG Inc, works all over the world creating children's (and all ages) environments that facilitate... Read More →

Thursday April 20, 2017 11:15am - 12:30pm PDT
Seymour (Ground Floor)