Urban Populations Outreach Program

Each summer since 2000, the Missouri Parks Association has sponsored its Urban Populations Outreach Program (UPOP).

The Urban Populations Outreach Program provides field trips to Missouri’s beautiful parks and historic sites for hundreds of urban youths from the St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia urban cores and several southwest Missouri communities. With past success and increasing interest, we look forward to providing expanded and better services to urban youth each year. Private support is essential to the success of our program. The Missouri Parks Association needs assistance with the costs of transportation, meals and field trip expenses for students participating in our UPOP activities.

The Urban Populations Outreach Program provides enriching life experiences to disadvantaged youth. The program is intended to give youngsters knowledge and appreciation of Missouri’s bountiful state park system and state historic sites. The field trips offered allow these kids an experience they may not otherwise have encountered, thus strengthening their sense of community, culture and ecological awareness. This program is designed to give the urban leaders of tomorrow a taste of life outside the city’s urban core, hence lending itself to positive self enrichment.  

The activities are free so that youngsters can take part in our program regardless of their economic ability. All costs associated with UPOP activities are paid by MPA, its corporate sponsors or coordinating youth agencies -- and special MPA member gifts.

Learning and appreciation through exposure to our park system is our journey’s purpose. We delight in attempting to make our urban communities a better place through the development of our children. The Urban Populations Outreach Program is a non-profit program striving to make a positive impact on many communities and on the lives of our cities’ young people.

To monitor program success, the Urban Populations Outreach Project provides field trip evaluation forms to staff participants following field trips. On a scale of 1 to 10, our program has averaged an 8.5 or better success rate each and every year.

All costs associated with the program are paid by the Missouri Parks Association through your membership and special gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations interested in helping make a positive impact on the lives of our cities’ youth. Expenses include bus transportation to and from sites, lunches and/or snacks and equipment needs for all field trips.

Special gifts -- above and beyond annual dues -- continue to be the vital difference for the successful and growing Urban Populations Outreach Project!

Read a sample report: Columbia UPOP 2011
Download a UPOP brochure
View UPOP Provider Guidelines
Support the Urban Populations Outreach Program

Donate to UPOP

MPA’s Urban Populations Outreach Program is going strong with educational field trips to introduce inner city kids to our state parks, working as usual with partners in Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia, and Joplin. To help us serve more UPOP kids, please donate.