Foundation series

Manatee Community Foundation awards $10,000 grant to Conservation Foundation for Youth Programming

The coast of the gift

The Manatee Community Foundation recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast to support its Next Gen Conservation Program. The grant was made possible through the Bishop-Parker Foundations Fund of the Manatee Community Foundation and will further the Conservation Foundation’s commitment to educating young people through discovery, nature-based activities, science citizenship and memorable outdoor experiences.
“Research indicates that time spent in nature is important for the cognitive, emotional, social and educational development of children,” says Christine P. Johnson, president of the Conservation Foundation. “Our Next Gen programming gets kids outside all year round, immersing them in nature and providing a host of benefits for their overall well-being. We are extremely grateful to the Manatee Community Foundation for their investment in our work and the young people we serve.

Next Gen Conservation is the Conservation Foundation’s umbrella program comprised of Youth in Nature and Nature Explorers. Youth in Nature focuses on underserved middle and high school youth in Manatee, DeSoto, and Sarasota counties. In partnership with other youth-serving organizations, Youth in Nature is able to host hundreds of WOW! moments in nature every year, creating lifelong memories, boosting self-esteem and instilling a love for the natural world.

Nature Explorers is the Conservation Foundation’s free, public youth education program for children in kindergarten through 5th grade. This program uses “citizen science” techniques to show children how they can make a difference in the lives of others and help the planet. Next Gen programs are central to the Conservation Foundation’s commitment to youth environmental education and community engagement.

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