First published in Griffith Park Reporter/2014
FoGP boardmember Miguel Ordeñana (on right) provides kids with park and safety information during some of the ICO outings
Friends of Griffith Park is proud to continue its support of this great program, in partnership with the Sierra Club. We have been actively involved since 2011, the first year of FoGP. That year we helped sponsor five separate outings, which brought 168 children into the Park. Inspiring Connections Outdoors, formerly known as Inner City Outings, is focused on nature trips for the underserved K-12 grade classes in Los Angeles. We’ve increased our participation each year. This year we have been part of fifteen outings thus far with 549 children. We hope to squeeze in a few more hikes before year’s end. We’re proud to report that in total, we have opened the eyes, ears and hearts of 1,312 children to Griffith Park! FoGP Director Felix Martinez has helped on nearly every hike. He has shared many of his experiences with the youngsters, who bond with him like a grandfather. Felix also talks about the Park’s history, including the Anza expedition. FoGP Director Miguel Ordeñana has also provided interpretive guidance. The children benefit from his scientific knowledge and expertise.
It is heartwarming to see the urban youth explore and appreciate the natural world. We hope these experiences today will help shape their values for tomorrow. May they learn how critical it is to preserve and protect the Park, for they are its future stewards.