About

CNY Young Naturalist Program


The Central New York Young Naturalist Program is a partnership between CNY Chapter of the Izaak Walton League and Manlius Public Library.  The program began in Summer of 2015 with the mission to get young people interested and involved in science by becoming engaged with their outdoor environment. 

The CNY Chapter was inspired to start this project by the National IWLA's 2014 Strategic Plan,  as the first objective was to get youth engaged in the outdoors. From the strategic plan

"Connect more young people to conservation and outdoor recreation" 

Young people today spend less time outdoors than any generation in American history – and are losing their connection to the natural world. By some estimates, the average middle- and high-school student spends more than 7 hours every day in front of electronic devices but only 30 minutes each week of unstructured time outside. There is growing concern that, as adults, these youth may not care
as much as previous generations about conservation or be interested in recreational shooting sports, fishing, watching wildlife, hunting, hiking, and other outdoor recreation activities. In turn, this could reverse conservation gains, undermine our quality of life, and weaken the outdoor recreation economy.


The League, our chapters, and our members across the country can play a positive and meaningful role in reconnecting children and their families to the natural world, conservation, and outdoor recreation."


The 2015  project was funded by a Creek Freaks Project Grant, and assisted by the NYS Parks and Recreation Forces Program.  ...mention roles and contributions of other partners."

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