OSMRE / VISTA Team Projects
Outdoors Alliance for Kids’ Every Child Healthy Outdoors (ECHO) Across Albuquerque
OSMRE / VISTA: Larisa Crippen-Chavez
Supervisor: Eugenie Bostrom
Address: 831 Isleta Boulevard Southwest, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87105
Voice Telephone: 970-759-3458
Web site: www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org
Congressional District: 1st
Bureau: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE)
The mission of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) is to connect children, youth, and families with the outdoors.
About the Surrounding Community
The state of New Mexico has numerous environmental and health hazards associated with past coal mining activities. For example, large sections of the Rio Grande and a majority of reservoirs surrounding the community served by the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) have been impacted by Mercury pollution from coal mining. In addition, there is also a great need to connect the residents of the Middle Rio Grande region to their surrounding natural resources in order to improve their lives and communities and to ensure the sustainability of those natural resources through future stewardship. The residents living in the zip codes served by OAK have an average per capita income 34.20% below the national level; 29.27% of these residents live below the national poverty level.
This project creates sustainable means for youth and community members to connect with nature, provides economic opportunities for young people within the Middle Rio Grande region, and pilots a model regional strategy to connect youth to nature that can be replicated in similarly impoverished regions across the country. The OSMRE/VISTA develops projects that both support volunteer service opportunities and provide outdoor access opportunities for kids while also promoting environmental stewardship; regularly convenes local stakeholders to develop a formal partnership for outdoor community engagement with government agencies, businesses, and non-profits; and engages County Commissioners and the Mayor to endorse the Every Child Healthy Outdoors (ECHO) plan and to participate in a public announcement.