Thanks to generous support from the Inasmuch Foundation, Parks in Focus® piloted
its first Oklahoma program with 43 youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma
County in fall 2012 and spring 2013.
The program consisted of a series of day trips to local natural areas, including
Martin Park, Myriad Gardens, and Roman Nose State Park, and culminated in a weekend
camping trip to the Wichita Mountains.
For many of the participants, Parks in Focus® provided their first opportunity
visit a National Wildlife Refuge, catch a fish, sleep in a tent, and roast marshmallows
over a campfire.
“The Parks in Focus® program has opened the eyes of Boys & Girls Club members
the wonders of nature through photography. Not only have they gained appreciation
for the natural world around them, they have learned valuable life-skills in photography,
all while having amazingly fun experiences!”
– Jane Sutter, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County
The Boys & Girls Clubs continue to be one of our key partners as we build our year-round
Oklahoma City program. With additional support from the Inasmuch, Kirkpatrick, and
Anschutz Foundations and other donors, Parks in Focus® is now working with other
youth and educational organizations to reach hundreds of underserved Oklahoma City
youth each year.
Through our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma, for example,
Parks in Focus® hosts outings that are specifically designed for both youth
and their adult mentors. These outings provide opportunities for the matches to
become better acquainted through joint learning and exploration of the outdoors.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters is proud to partner with a program like Parks in Focus®
that strives to advance self-confidence, creativity, and appreciation of the outdoors
for underserved middle school youth. Likeminded organizations can accomplish so
much when they combine their resources, and we are honored to be a part of this
mission to mentor Oklahoma’s youth through nature and photography.”
– Rachel Hernandez, Area Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma
Parks in Focus® has also partnered with Positive Tomorrows, a private elementary
school specifically serving homeless students in Oklahoma.
“Working with Parks in Focus® was a wonderful experience for the students at
Positive Tomorrows. As Oklahoma’s only private elementary school specifically serving homeless
students, the program was especially meaningful. Our students have limited access
to technology outside of school and the opportunity to use cameras to connect to
nature was very powerful for them. Aside from having fun, they left with a sense
of pride and a greater understanding of their surroundings.”
– Susan Agel, President and Principal, Positive Tomorrows
Parks in Focus® looks forward to continuing these partnerships in Oklahoma City
and working with additional youth and educational organizations to further the Parks
in Focus® mission of connecting youth to nature through photography.
“I didn’t know you could have this much fun outside!”
– Felix (age 10), PIF Participant, Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County