I would like to commend the City of Oaks Foundation's Give Play Initiative for the much needed role it plays in connecting underserved populations to recreation activities where cost is a barrier to participation. Access to natural areas should not be a privilege of affluent families. It is impressive to see the Foundation working to provide recreational opportunities for all citizens, especially activities that connected people with nature. This is a mission which is often missed by many environmental organizations.
As a Raleigh native, I was thrilled to hear that a new foundation was being created to address important issues in our city that other nonprofits have not--the conservation of open space in a rapidly urbanizing region. Since the City of Oaks Foundation's inception, I have become a board member because I believe deeply in the work that this Foundation does. In addition to working with landowners to conserve valuable open space, we also connect children to the outdoors by funding scholarships for summer camp programs. Our foundation is relatively new; we were founded 2 years ago. We can use your help and support!
The City of Oaks Foundation is doing an outstanding job of looking ahead and providing a healthier Raleigh for our children for many generations to come . A critical factor in the success of the organization is its leadership - the director and the board. The leadership is is exceptionally visionary, energetic and pro-active. Raleigh is a fast-growing area where open farm and forest land is being quickly transformed into densely-populated housing developments and commercial centers. The City of Oaks has been very proactive in seeking out properties to preserve for future generations , and which will provide outdoor educational opportunities for our children . This in turn will result in healthier children as well as a healthier Raleigh. As one example, the City of Oaks already owns a 4-acre tract in the middle of Raleigh with educational opportunities for children to learn about North Carolina's native plants. As another example, my husband inherited a 60-acre farm from his grandfather which is now encircled by the city of Raleigh and by dense housing developments. Early in 2013, The City of Oaks proactively contacted us about preserving the property, and since then has been instrumental in helping us to develop a Conservation Easement which will provide opportunities for Raleigh's children to enjoy being outdoors learning about nature, and to learn about farming and home vegetable gardening. Whenever we call and ask for help, we receive an immediate and comprehensive response. Because of the competent and tireless help provided by the Foundation, we anticipate completing a Conservation Easement on the property by the end of 2013. In addition to providing outdoor educational opportunities for Raleigh's children , the Conservation Easement will also help protect the lakes on our property. These lakes provide a sanctuary for water birds and feed into the Neuse River , a major North Carolina waterway which has suffered over past years from development run-off. Enough good things cannot be said about the City of Oaks.
City of Oaks Foundation is created out of bona fide need to fill a niche that connect our citizens and our children to the environment and their natural world on a level no other organization in Raleigh has done. It does not duplicate other corporate or national entities, but instead is unique and fills a void that that engages Raleigh's residents with nature, recreation, and youth education activities.
The City of Oaks Foundation is a local, grassroots-supported organization seeking to make Raleigh a better place. The Foundation's people do a great job of connecting Raleighites to the Foundation's mission. While the City of Oaks Foundation is young, it has a strong partnership with Raleigh's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department, and together they are protecting the City's natural resources and connecting kids with nature.