Outdoor Nation, an industry funded initiative to reconnect America’s youth and the Millennial Generation to the outdoors, and Aramark, the award winning food and hospitality partner for national and state parks and other leading leisure and cultural attractions across the country, launched the Campus Activation Grants program to inspire a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts. Focused on the college market, this partnership program will award grants to five universities with the best ideas to connect students and local communities and increase visitation to parks and recreation areas across the country.

Young adults have increasingly become disconnected from the outdoors-leading to not only a crisis in the Millennial Generations health but a gap in environmental appreciation and stewardship, said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation, the organization that started the Outdoor Nation movement. Thanks to our partnership with Aramark, we are investing in and empowering school communities to build strong connections to outdoor recreation through campus-wide activation.

Grants of $3,000 will be awarded to the five schools that submit the best ideas for engaging their campus communities in outdoor recreation. Each school or university must implement a minimum of five outdoor outings that actively engage the campus community. Other requirements include an initial brainstorming session, ongoing outdoor activation, two activities with local youth-serving organizations and a National Park outing. To apply, submit your proposal by November 25, 2014. Proposals will undergo a rigorous review process, and the 5 winners will be announced on December 15, 2014.

Aramark is committed to finding new and creative ways to connect people with the outdoors and Americas parks, which provide a wealth of educational opportunities for todays students, said Bruce W. Fears, president of Aramarks Leisure division. Through our partnership with Outdoor Nations Campus Activation Grant Program, Millennials across five college campuses will have the opportunity to enjoy new and exciting experiences in outdoor spaces, such as parks and recreation areas.

Outdoor Nation is a movement dedicated to increasing and expanding youth participation in outdoor recreation thorough entertainment, education, engagement and action in order to cultivate a healthier, more active generation. During the past year, Outdoor Nation has awarded 250,000 to college programs and nonprofit organizations for projects that reconnect young people with nature. For more information about Outdoor Nation grants, visit outdoornation.org/grants.

Aramarks Leisure division delivers authentic and memorable experiences at national and state parks, national forests, conference centers, specialty hotels, museums and other tourist destinations throughout the United States. In partnership with its clients, Aramark enhances the guest experience by offering industry-leading hospitality, environmental stewardship, recreational and interpretive programs. For more information, visit aramarkleisure.com.