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Rensselaer Youth Outdoors exists because of the collective efforts of parents, schools and organizations from across the Rensselaer Plateau. Our shared love of the waters, soils, forests, rocks, wildlife and people who live here motivate the mission and vision of this organization. 


We know that regular time outdoors helps young people thrive. Technology, as helpful as it can be, often keeps youth indoors, in front of screens and disconnected from the natural world, themselves and each other. For so many, access to nature is determined by race, income and zip code. Thriving young people mean future conservationists, clean water, health ecosystems and less violence throughout all of our communities. This is the mission of RYO, to make sure our youth, of all ages, have accessible, nurturing experiences in the natural world. 


Supported by the work of the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, Dyken Pond Environmental Center and Grafton Lakes State Park, RYO is a network of these partners and more. Together, we introduce and engage children and families of Rensselaer County in the wonder, science, and adventure of nature in an effort to create a healthier, more sustainable community in an increasingly complex world.  


Additional representatives from Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Rensselaer Land Trust, various Rensselaer School Districts, and the USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station assist in advising and implementing RYO programs.  


This work grows when you get involved. To find out more contact us or get involved in one of our upcoming events.


We have received funding from sources including but not limited to the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) and New York's Environmental Protection Fund, as well as the Northern Research Station, Forest Service, USDA, Ann Allen Cetrino Family Foundation, A Still Small Voice, Kelly Family Cuidiu Foundation, NYS Connect Kids to Parks Program, Rensselaer Land Trust and the Friends of Dyken Pond.

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