Outside Is In
Since 2009, Outside Is In has helped connect Akron Public Schools students with nature through a unique partnership.
Computers. Video games. A lack of funding for school field trips. Parents who are unwilling to let their kids explore the outdoors unsupervised. This is just a partial list of the reasons children are not making a personal connection with nature.
Outside Is In is a partnership between Friends of Metro Parks, Akron Public Schools, and Summit Metro Parks. Its purpose is to connect students with nature through meaningful activities in the outdoors. The program began as a pilot in 2009 with 40 students. We now serve between 300 to 600 children each spring.
In 2016, we held 3 day programs and 1 overnight with day program for 6th graders. The program centered on learning about soil and water and connecting with the natural environment. We also held 2 High School program for those students enrolled in the environmental science elective. It was also based on their science curriculum. The programs were led by Metro Parks naturalists and volunteers and Camp Christopher staff.
The program is funded by Friends of Metro Parks. Generous support has been provided by the Akron Community Foundation, Dominion Resources, the Sisler McFawn Foundation, the Welty Family Foundation, the Betty V. and John M. Jacobson Foundation, ICF Foundation, the Joseph G. and Sally A. Miller Family Foundation, the Jean Thomas Lambert Foundation, the Charles E. & Mabel M. Ritchie Memorial Foundation, The Robert A. and Jean C. Meyers Family Fund of Akron Community Foundation, the Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Fund of Akron Community Foundation, OMNOVA Solutions Foundation, the R.C. and Katherine M. Musson Charitable Foundation, the W. Paul Mills and Thora J. Mills Memorial Foundation, the Lloyd L. & Louise K. Smith Foundation, Wild4Ever, the Edward J. Thomas Foundation, Akron Garden Club, the Honor Project, FirstEnergy Foundation and the Harvey and Patricia Graves Foundation.
New funders this year include the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the Charles E. and Mary K. Booth Family Fund of Akron Community Foundation.
We also thank GAR Foundation, the Charles E. & Mabel M. Ritchie Memorial Foundation, the Bokom Foundation, the R.C. and Katherine M. Musson Charitable Foundation, the Lloyd L. & Louise K. Smith Foundation, PPG Foundation, Lehner Family Foundation, the Laura R. & Lucian Q. Mofitt Foundation, the Glenn R. and Alice V. Boggess Memorial Foundation, the Edwin J. Thomas Foundation and the Lisle M. Buckingham Endowment Fund for supporting our programs and operations.