LOOP NOLA makes the outdoors more equitable for underserved, urban children and youth so everyone can experience the physical and mental health benefits of outdoor recreation along with the joy and awe that are created in natural spaces. Hiking, canoeing, ropes course challenges, camping, fishing, teambuilding activities, and nature-based programming form the foundation of our programs and they are planned out and managed by our trained and experienced staff.
Amidst Covid 19: In the 2019-20 school year, we were on track to serve over 3,000 youth through our comprehensive outdoor youth development programs prior to the closure of schools due to COVID-19. We have had to make difficult decisions to stretch our current funding, but we know how critical our programs will be in the upcoming school year to stem the adverse effects of the current quarantine. Time spent being active outdoors is a powerful treatment to address the mental and physical health issues created by staying at home for months. LOOP NOLA will provide a critical service as a sort of natural ambulance, bringing youth to the clinic that nature provides.
Fostering a sense of wonder.
LOOP NOLA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide positive, life-changing outdoor experiences for children and youth in Greater New Orleans. LOOP NOLA addresses the lack of opportunity for urban children to experience the outdoors. They nurture students' connections to nature by developing a sense of wonder at the natural world along with their social, technical and academic skills through repeated exposure to outdoor adventures over multiple years.
With the growing number of children and youth in New Orleans lacking critical connections to nature, LOOP NOLA provides dynamic outdoor adventure experiences that develop social and emotional skills while fostering a sense of wonder about the outdoors. They partner with elementary, middle and high schools to engage classes in a series of academically linked and customizable adventure-based activities. From learning how to canoe to participating on our City Park Challenge Course, thousands of youth have gained confidence, leadership skills and teamwork skills with LOOP NOLA.
LOOP NOLA and its predecessor, LOOP, have provided thousands of students with outdoor adventures that develop their interpersonal and social skills while fostering a sense of wonder at the natural world around them. A majority of these students would have never experienced fun, dynamic outdoor activities and the confidence they can provide without LOOP NOLA. The programs LOOP NOLA provides allow students to improve their leadership and teamwork skills through engaging mental and physical challenges. Lastly, LOOP NOLA’s programs provide exposure to the outdoors for New Orleans children and youth and encourage them to continue visiting local parks and participate in outdoor activities with their families, playing a role in improving the general health of underserved communities. Last school year they had over 900 students participate in their outdoor programs from over 20 local schools and then plan to serve over 1,500 this current school year.
Raising $1,000, LOOP NOLA would be able to provide two new public schools with a program fee reduction, allowing 100 more students to participate in outdoor adventures. Raising $2,000, they would be able to provide a fee reduction for five public schools, allowing 200 more public school students to participate with LOOP NOLA. Raising $5,000, they would be able to plan a weekend camping trip to Gulf Islands National Seashore for 100 students from public schools. The students will camp overnight, kayak, hike, learn about the ecosystem of barrier islands and complete a service project for the park. These weekend adventures will engage underserved youth with unique and lasting outdoor experiences that allow them to play, learn and serve while developing their interpersonal skills in a new place away from home.
Within the next five years, LOOP NOLA hopes to serve over 3,000 children and youth with diverse, outdoor experiences annually. They also want to create a sustainable funding model that allows over 50% of their participants to be from low-income communities.