Connecting to Nature in America's Toughest City

Latino Health Access (LHA) is an Inside the Outdoors' partner. Last summer, we were able to offer Inside the Outdoors Summer Day Camp camperships to 10 children served by LHA. These children live in a place where every child has only 22 feet of open space. Most of the campers from LHA had never been outside of their community, so the experience for them represented the first chance the children had to connect with nature.

If you want to be truly inspired, take a few minutes to listen to Bill Moyer's segment about what LHA and grassroots organizers are doing to bring a park to their community. Please share this story with anyone you think will be interested.


Four years ago, in a national survey of America's toughest cities to live in — weighing levels of crime, poverty and disease — Santa Ana, California ranked number one. But now, the residents have something to celebrate: a new park. Little comes easy in Santa Ana, and community activist America Bracho and her neighbors worked for years to win their park from the city establishment.

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Comment by Juliet Robertson on November 8, 2009 at 2:19am
Hi Again Lori

You may also be interested to know that in the new Scottish curriculum almost 23% of the "Experiences and Outcomes" are about Health and Wellbeing which is a curriculum area in its own right. Furthermore it is expected that every member of staff who works in a school should be contributing to the experiences and outcomes, regardless of job, subject specialism, etc. It will be interesting to see if there is an impact on our nation's health in years to come.

Best wishes
Comment by Juliet Robertson on November 8, 2009 at 2:15am
Hello Lori

Thanks for sharing this interesting article. It reminded me very much of the Norris Square Neighborhood Project in Phildelphia. This was started as an after school club in the basement of an elementary school that looked out onto the one patch of green in a Puerto Rican neighborhood. You are right, little does come easy but persistence pays and the community gardens established throughout this neighborhood over the years is evidence of this. Also, like the organisation in Santa Ana, it is a centre that links many aspects of community life - environment, health, culture, education, etc.

I hope the Latino Health Access organisation continues to grow from strength to strength.

Best wishes

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