Urban Nature Partners PDX empowers youth from marginalized Portland communities in 4th grade and up to make meaningful connections in the urban outdoors through one-on-one mentoring relationships, family inclusive group events, and access to partner programs and leadership opportunities.
Learn more about the origins of our program by reading our blogpost on the Intertwine Alliance’s website.
Watch director Kristin Bowling talk about Urban Nature Partners with Women with Moxie’s Adrianne Gunn.
At UNP-PDX, we are dedicated to enhancing outdoor experiences for our mentors, families and the communities we serve. In our first two years, we asked our youth, mentors and families to answer
survey questions about our program. These surveys proved to us what anecdotal evidence suggested: that our families and mentors are seeing positive change in their youth. In the first year, the time our youth spent outdoors led to a 13% increase in environmental awareness. In addition, in their first six months alone, our mentors and families saw a 10% increase in our youth’s problem solving and relational skills.
When asked to write about how seeing their mentor every week has changed them, our youth answered, “I liked that my mentor was confident because it made me feel confident.” and “I feel more comfortable talking to adults now.” They also reflect upon the importance of being outdoors in their lives: “Being with [my mentor] takes the technology out of my mind.”
One of the strongest impacts of our program has can be seen in the families of our youth. Because they live with their kids and have known them for longer than our mentors, their evaluations are particularly valuable. Some of the comments we have received from the families include, “Urban Nature Partners has shown [our family] how much we can do enjoying the outdoors—helping us relieve a lot of stress from everyday life,” and “Since having mentors who focus on the outdoors and the environment, our girls are more knowledgeable and excited about animals, plants and the outdoors.”
To learn more about becoming an outdoor mentor, click here to check out our prospective mentor page.
To get on our mailing list, ask us a question, or to make a donation, click here.