On Tuesday, the Y announced it is teaming with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Mayor’s office to become the non-profit partner for the Let’s Move! Outside initiative.
Through this partnership, the Y will lead local efforts to create more opportunities for youth in Nashville to be active outdoors and be good stewards of public land.
“This initiative will help us bring together leaders in conservation, education, recreation and service to provide opportunities for children and families to have fun, deepen connections to the city’s natural and historic sites, develop important skills, and engage in activities where they can give back and strengthen our community,” said Dan Dummermuth, CEO of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee.
Nashville was named one of the first 50 cities for the national initiative led by First Lady Michelle Obama. Peggy O'Dell, deputy director with the National Parks Service, said that it was crucial that cities spearheading the initiative have strong non-profit involvement.
“The YMCA is one of those great organizations, and we are proud to partner with them,” she said.
One of Y's new outdoor initiatives is already underway.
More than 20 children from the East Nashville Y-CAP visit the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm every two weeks to learn more about growing healthy foods in an urban setting.
“We’re introducing inner city students to gardening to students who don’t have access to gardens,” said Eric Alexander, a Y-CAP program director. “Most of them live in food deserts. It’s life-changing for these students to see how this is produced.”