Connecting Urban Communities with the Outdoors

About the Project

Tandem and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recently concluded a multi-year effort to document, in photography and video, our national wildlife refuges close to urban areas. These “urban refuges” are unique among the national wildlife refuge system, in that they act as a vital resource for the surrounding communities. More than 14 short films and thousands of images were created during the five year effort.


Tandem not only created the content, but also secured media coverage as part of a national publicity outreach campaign. Coverage included national and regional press, such as National Geographic, Outside Magazine, Sierra Magazine, Associated Press, San Antonio-Express News, Detroit Metro Times, Salt Lake Magazine, Utah Open Lands, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Conservation Corps, Sun Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Baltimore Sun, Capital Gazette, KCET Public Television, AAA Via, Sunset Magazine, and many more.

Custom content library for use in promotional and educational materials

What Is the Urban Wildlife Conservation Program?

With 80 percent of the U.S. population currently residing in urban communities, the challenge to ensure that our natural resources are preserved and valued by the American people has become complex. To help the country nurture a new conservation constituency, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service promotes strategies to engage the popluation in meaningful, collaborative ways that build sustainable, broad-based support for the their mission.


What barriers prevent greater access or the enjoyment of outdoor recreational opportunities by urban communities?

  • Feelings of otherness for minorities: uncomfortable being the only minority in the outdoors and not being represented in the cultural and historical dialogue about America’s natural landscapes and conservation.
  • Fear for safety, health, and discomfort in the outdoors.
  • Negative cultural stigmas about working outdoors.

The urban wildlife conservation program seeks to break down barriers and integrate communities with urban refuges throughout the United States in ways that will foster a new generation of experiences in and appreciation for the outdoors.

Connecting communities in the outdoors