The National Park Service's Breaking Barriers collaborative said it will hold sessions in Merced, Mariposa and Fresno counties to help create better outreach and write a white paper.
The group said in a news release that it "seeks to engage underrepresented youth, community members and civic leaders in authentic dialogue to help bridge divides between underserved populations and the natural world."
Partners in the research project this month with Yosemite National Park are WildLink, Yosemite Leadership Program and Adventure Risk Challenge.
By collecting usable information on barriers to the outdoors and needs of communities, the collaborative said in the news release, it wants to help "address pressing social and environmental justice issues, especially access to open space and the opportunities for healthy lifestyle choices."
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The Merced session will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the Boys & Girls Club of Merced County, 615 W. 15th St. The Mariposa session was held Tuesday. On Oct. 27, a session will take place in Fresno at the Zimmerman Boys & Girls Club, 540 N. Augusta St., with youngsters from 4 to 6 p.m. and community members from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The information collected will help the partners create outreach models, outdoor programming and a regional advisory council.
Findings will be reported in a white paper and at a public meeting.
Pizza dinner and beverages will be provided.
Travel stipends of a $20 gas card plus a $10 gift card for the driver are available for groups of four or more who travel together. The first 20 people through the door will receive a prize.