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Connecting Youth To The Outdoors

Breaking Barriers

Breaking Barriers, A National Park Service Collaborative

ARC Program Youth in the wilderness

The National Park Service’s Breaking Barriers collaborative seeks to engage youth, community members and civic leaders in authentic dialogue to help bridge the gap between culturally diverse residents and the natural world. Breaking Barriers will launch a meaningful data collection and action oriented research project this month and Wildlink, Yosemite National Park, and Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC) are key collaborative partners.

Imagine for a moment that the only understanding you have about the outdoors includes walking from your house to the bus stop or school. Imagine what it would be like if your view of nature is derived from horror movies and news stories about animal attacks rather than tranquil and inspiring personal experiences in the great outdoors. Examples of barriers among diverse people underrepresented in park visitation often include, among others things, generational poverty and fears and misperceptions about the natural world.

With generous support from the Stewardship Council and our partners, we are committed to increasing the cultural relevancy of outdoor programming while creating effective outreach models. Ultimately our mission is to inspire youth to be the best that they can be through amazing outdoor adventures, leadership skills and literacy training. We believe it’s important to dedicate resources to Breaking Barriers and are wholeheartedly committed to sharing our work and findings with all interested organizations and community members.

The collaborative will gather information on the most effective outreach methods and educational experiences through facilitated listening sessions in Mariposa, Merced and Fresno Counties and youth and community member surveys. The information collected will help the partners create regional Advisory Councils, and findings will be reported in white papers and through public gatherings.

Failure to address generational poverty, fears and misperceptions about the outdoors and lack of experience in wild places may reinforce alienation and disengagement. The collaborative is focused on continuing to expand the inspirational and empowering impacts of positive outdoor experiences on culturally diverse and underrepresented youth and their families.

For more information, please contact us at:


phone: 209-379-2038

Incredible Places is a brand of Creative Entity Productions with non-profit community engagements under Creative Entity Org/Inquiring Systems 501.c3. The Into Outside partnership and engagement with the National Park Service Collaborative is a non-profit project of Creative Entity Org.

Use of the Made For the Media™ platform, as well as the IntoOutside and Incredible Places brands and associations are offered to this partnership are made possible courtesy of Creative Entity Productions.

For more information on our main partner programs, please visit:

Adventure Risk Challenge

Yosemite Leadership Program

Wild Link

Incredible Places, A Project  of www.CreativeEntity.Org


Breaking Barriers: Connecting Youth to the Outdoors is a joint project of multiple stakeholders and production partners.

National Park Service Collaborative


Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC), A UC Berkeley & Merced year-round literacy and leadership program for high school youth. ARC links wilderness to academics, adventure to leadership, identity to literacy, and confidence to activism.

Education Branch of Yosemite National Park – Provides curriculum and state-standard based education opportunities for school-age youth and gateway communities.

Nature Bridge, the largest residential environmental education partner of the National Park Service

UC Merced Wilderness Education Center, A partnership between UC Merced, Yosemite National Park, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Staffed by student rangers, the WEC provides information about recreational and professional opportunities available in Parks and public lands to UCM students.

WildLink, a collaboration of NaturBridge, NPS and USFS designed to inspire California’s youth to develop lasting connections to wild places through wilderness experiences and community stewardship.

Yosemite Field Station , UC Merced’s research facility that works in partnership with YLP and ARC.

Yosemite Leadership Program (YLP), a UC Merced program for undergraduates, facilitates leadership development, outdoor experiences and summer internships within Yosemite National Park.

Wilderness Branch of Yosemite National Park – Responsible for protecting, managing, and educating individuals about the national resource of Wilderness;

The Stewardship Council has provided a significant grant to the National Park Service Collaborative to create forums, white papers, and community engagement to provide a bottom up approach to engaging youth and underserved community in the outside.

Creative Entity Org has provided the development of digital media, online forums, events, social media, photography, video, and technology platforms to engage youth in the outdoors.