Three Reasons Why We’re Especially Excited about OAK Week 2016

Katheryne Lewis, one of The Corps Network's 2016 Corpsmembers of the Year, speaking at a White House Council on Environmental Quality event during OAK Week 2016.

Every year, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) – a national partnership of organizations working to connect youth and families with nature – convenes in Washington, DC for “OAK Week.” This is a time to advocate for policies that promote public lands stewardship and improved access to nature, as well as a time to celebrate successes in promoting outdoor recreation.

As a proud member of the OAK Steering Committee, The Corps Network looks forward to this annual opportunity to meet with like-minded organizations and push for our shared vision of a world in which all young people have meaningful relationships with nature. However, this year’s OAK Week is particularly exciting for a number of reasons.

First, we are excited about the presentation of the first OAK Awards on Tuesday, November 15th. Among the honorees are the National Park Foundation, REI and The North Face, all of which have been strong supporters of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) – a public-private initiative to engage 100,000 youth and recent veterans in public lands service and stewardship.

Second, we look forward to participating in the OAK lobby day on Wednesday, November, 16th. Among other causes, we will join our partners in advocating for the 21CSC and public lands appropriations that are so important to making sure our parks and forests are open to everyone.

Finally, The Corps Network is honored to participate in an OAK Week event at the White House on Thursday, November 17th. Katheryne Lewis, one of The Corps Network’s 2016 Corpsmembers of the Year, will speak at this event about her experience serving in the 21CSC through Montana Conservation Corps and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. Katheryne is an extraordinary young woman who won our Corpsmember of the Year award, in part, for her outspoken leadership on the need to engage more women and minorities in nature. We are proud to have her speak on the importance of outdoor access for all.

The mission of OAK – to connect children, youth and families with the outdoors – is close to the heart of The Corps Network’s mission to promote Corps as a tool to support youth development and protect public lands. We are proud of our role on the OAK steering committee and look forward to this week’s events.  

TCN and Earth Conservation Corps Participate in Great Outdoors America Week event on the National Mall


On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, The Corps Network and Earth Conservation Corps participated in the Kids, Youth and the Great Outdoors Festival and Walk on the National Mall in recognition of GO Week (Great Outdoors America Week, June 24 – June 27, 2013). Earth Conservation Corps demonstrated two birds from their Raptor Education Program, while other organizations offered activities ranging from knot tying to mountain biking and kayaking lessons.

The purpose of the event, sponsored by OAK (Outdoors Alliance for Kids), was to celebrate youth in nature and raise awareness about the importance of outdoor recreation and various efforts to ensure that all kids and families have opportunities to get outside.

A press conference on the NE lawn of the Washington Monument included speeches by Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior; Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army; Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club; Jamie Williams, President of The Wilderness Society; Jackie Ostfeld, Chair of OAK; and Arturo Cervantes, Outdoor Nation Youth Ambassador. Following the press conference, guides from GirlTrek led Festival participants on a walk to the Capitol. See below for photos from the event. 


Mountain biking lessons


Mountain biking lessons


Secretary Jewell


Daryl Wallace of Earth Conservation Corps with Skye the hawk


Secretary Jewell


Chair Nancy Sutley


Knot tying exhibit

The Corps Network Joins the Outdoor Alliance for Kids



The Corps Network is pleased to announce that we have joined the Outdoors Alliance for Kids. Here's some more information about OAK:

The Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with the common interest in expanding the number and quality of opportunities for children, youth and families to connect with the outdoors.

Shared Values
The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the well-being of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. While childhood is the best time for instilling and fully benefiting from a connection to nature, in today’s world children are increasingly moving away from an understanding of the natural world. Although families have the leading role in connecting children with the outdoors, local, state and national decision-makers have a critical role to play to ensure that children, youth and families have the access, opportunities, skills and encouragement to connect with the great outdoors.

To reconnect with nature OAK believes that every child should have the opportunity and encouragement to play outside, touch soil, feel rain, watch leaves fall, sleep under the stars, count waves, eat food fresh from the garden, roll down a hill, catch a fish and enjoy the satisfaction of climbing to the top of a hill or a tree. Such simple acts create a pathway to longer hikes, an appreciation for wildlife, a desire to care for special places, healthier bodies, deeper family relationships and wiser people, which in turn OAK believes offers hope for a better world.

OAK's Membership
View OAK's Membership

** For more information, contact jackie.ostfeld [at]; 202-548-6584 or visit our website: