The North Face Explore Your Parks (www.exploreyourparks.com) program, an award-winning outreach effort, for the fourth consecutive year is partnering with state parks around the country to encourage participation in outside activities.
According to a press release, the 2013 program, running now through August, has expanded to 13 markets including state parks in 12 states and the Chicago Park District. This marks the first time Explore Your Parks partnered with a city park district.
Offered again this year is the popular Camping 101 program for first-time campers. The overnight experience, guided by park rangers, focuses on camping basics including campsite setup and etiquette, outdoor cooking, safety tips and staff-led nature education sessions.
Camping 101 activities are customized in each of the 13 markets with some state park locations offering family-oriented activities like fishing, hiking and canoeing. In Chicago, participants will learn how to camp in an urban setting with the Chicago skyline as a backdrop.
Currently, The North Face Explore Your Parks reaches approximately 25% of the U.S. population and the company is committed to expanding the program every year to boost interest in outdoor exploration.
“Research shows only half of Americans currently participate in outdoor activities,” said Ann Krcik, director of Outdoor Exploration for The North Face. “The North Face looks to encourage people of all ages to get off the couch and venture outside to enjoy the beauty and wonder of nature – especially our parks.”
The success of the Explore Your Parks campaign was recognized this year when Outdoor USA Magazine named it “Best Cause Program.” The award recognizes those companies that excel in design and implementation of innovative marketing and communications programs.
“Our mission is to foster a love of the outdoors,” Krcik said. “With Explore Our Parks and family involvement, we are reaching kids at an early age. If youth experience outdoor activities in a positive way, it’s possible to set long-term trends for an overall healthier life.”