Horizon Foundation and YMCA partner to expand the Watershed Education by Bike program

Kids participate in riding and learning events designed to teach them how different factors affect the watershed and ecosystem.

A photo of the check presentation with officials and children.

The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey recently presented a check for $25,000 to the local YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties to continue the Watershed Education by Bike (WEB) program, which gives young people the opportunity to learn the importance of environmental stewardship, how to safely travel by bike and ways to have fun while being active.

According to the YMCA’s website, the WEB program launched in the spring of 2013 by Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC) and local partners as an afterschool program in three Camden City middle schools. Kids aged 11 to 14 participate in riding and learning events designed to teach them how different factors affect the watershed and ecosystem, and consequently, their own lives. In the summer, the program transforms into a day camp, with rides increasing in length from their after school counterparts.

According to the YMCA’s website, in 2014 RTC passed management of the program to the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties, which continues to impact the lives of children in the Camden area.

According to the YMCA, with Horizon’s support, the addition of a nutrition component will give nearly 700 kids’ ages 5 to 14 years resources that will help them make healthy choices in their everyday lives.

“Horizon is focused on supporting organizations that make New Jersey healthier, so we were drawn to the nutrition education component of the WEB program,” said Jennifer Goudy, program officer at The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. “We are proud to support the Y on this important initiative for the youth of Burlington and Camden counties.”

According to the YMCA, the grant will also help expand the WEB program to the Y’s after school program in the City of Camden. The new program site will allow more young people to experience riding bikes and learning along the trail network that extends for miles around the greenway in the Camden Region.

“While there are many programs like this in the Camden area, none offer the educational, physical and now nutritional components,” said Jen Segelken, vice president of strategic expansion at the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties. “We are fortunate to have Horizon’s support financially and as curriculum providers for this program.”