Assembly Bill 2614 would require the Natural Resources Agency (Agency) to track the availability of outdoor experiences for disadvantaged youth and create a grant program to encourage access to these experiences. This bill tasks the Agency with compiling and making available a list of school districts that contract out their school buses to non-profit organizations or state agencies for transport services. The goal of the list is to help connect these organizations with the transportation services that would enable them to give these youth positive encounters with nature, and all its associated benefits. The bill would also create a grant program that would provide additional monetary support to foster more access to the outdoors and uplift the many young people who are denied these advantageous experiences.
Outdoor experiences provide a number of positive outcomes and benefits. Park experiences are essential for health, happiness and quality of life and by ensuring all youth the opportunity to experience parklands, we foster the next generation of empowered parks stewards who, in return, have an appreciation for the significant benefits of parks. AB 2614 attempts to explore one of the many pathways to parks.