Birmingham is one of 50 cities across the United States launching a Let’s Move! Outside initiative to connect young people to open space and public lands. The initiative is a collaboration between the YMCA and the Department of the Interior, with funding from American Express, to inspire youth to play, learn, serve, and work in the great outdoors.
The Birmingham initiative hosted a local summit on June 28th at Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve with a diverse collection of partners in the areas of education, city government, social services, land conservation and public health to discuss opportunities to engage youth in experiencing and enjoying the abundant opportunities to get outside that exist across the region. Following the discussion, partners participated in service opportunities to enhance local recreational spaces.
The YMCA of Greater Birmingham is serving as the local convener and facilitator of the initiative, but the effort is designed to connect partners from various sectors to ensure that youth are able to experience and enjoy outdoor recreational and service opportunities. Let’s Move! Outside will work to connect partners, children, and families with local places for physical activity and service opportunities over the next two years.
The initiative is supported by the Jefferson County Health Action Partnership’s Promoting Healthy Lifestyles priority group, which identified improving access to recreational opportunities and increasing physical activity rates as the group’s long-term goals within Jefferson County. The YMCA of Greater Birmingham is providing leadership and support for that priority group, further leveraging existing partnerships and projects to support the Let’s Move! Outside Birmingham initiative.
The Let’s Move! Outside initiative also supports the Bold Goals Coalition of Central Alabama’s effort for Jefferson, Shelby, Walker, St. Clair and Blount counties to all be ranked within the ten healthiest counties in Alabama by 2025, according to County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. The latest report for all of Alabama’s 67 counties was released earlier this year.
For more information about Let’s Move! Outside Birmingham, visit the group’s Facebook page or follow the initiative on Instagram and Twitter @letsmovebham.