Take a Kid Outdoors (TAKO) was founded in 2006 by Richard E. "Dick" Jensen in West Union, Iowa. Jensen, a passionate advocate of all things nature, wanted to create an organization that promoted unstructured enjoyment of nature. It was then brought to Johnson County in 2011 by current CEO Judy Joyce.
TAKO’s mission is to immerse participants in enjoyable activities to develop an attitude of joy, wonder, love, and respect for our natural world. Take A Kid Outdoors schedules outdoor events on a monthly basis with an emphasis on free-play and exploration. Each event is free and does not require pre-registration. Our organization has sponsored everything from ice fishing, archery, and sledding to panning for gold, planting corn, and creating art in the park.
An important element of our programs is adult involvement. We want adults to enjoy nature and become more confident in spending time outdoors with their kids. It’s also a great opportunity to network with other nature-loving families in the area. We encourage the who family to participate in our events. Even though we are Take A “Kid” Outdoors, we believe that everyone is a kid at heart.