In 2012, several of my Outside Hilton Head colleagues and I formed a task force.
It was called The Green Team to address our company’s sustainability. We established company-wide recycling programs, educational initiatives and an outreach curriculum. The goals of the group broadened and, in 2014, a 501(c)3 non-profit was established. Called The Outside Foundation, the organization has a simple mission: to get kids outside and protect and preserve the local environment. Led by Executive Director Jean Fruh, The Foundation has done a great deal of important work in the community over its short history and has some excellent programs planned this spring.
The cornerstone of The Outside Foundation’s work is a program called Kids in Kayaks.
Originally established in 1992, Kids in Kayaks has a simple mission—to get all middle school children in Beaufort County out kayaking. The Outside Foundation rewrote the curriculum for the science-based program, which combines a nature-based kayak tour with hands-on, on-land experiences. This also includies touch tanks, watershed demonstrations, fish dissections, oyster experiments and water quality testing.
Kids in Kayaks invites all local children to participate. For those who cannot afford it, The Outside Foundation has established a scholarship fund to cover the costs. The aim of the program is to involve youth in outdoor experiences designed to raise awareness of and educate about the importance of a healthy ecosystem. Getting kids out on the water teaches the value of protecting the quality of our waterways. We teach practicing responsible use of our natural resources as a means of lessening our impact on the environment.
The Outside Foundation hosts a kayak-based cleanup of Broad Creek.
Outside Hilton Head offers free kayak rentals to volunteers. There are only a limited number of these free rentals available, reservations are required. This is the first of two annual cleanups run by The Outside Foundation. In the past, these volunteer events have collected over 1,000 pounds of trash from the waterway. If you enjoy the outdoors, protecting the environment or helping out, this is an event not to miss!
Visit outsidefoundation.org or call 843-686-6996 to learn more about The Outside Foundation. Purchase tickets for An Afternoon on Page Island or to check out some fun Kids in Kayaks photos on our webiste.