Underserved Populations Outreach Program

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

The future success of resource conservation efforts, and effective stewardship of public lands and resources, relies on an engaged public that values nature. Informed citizens and stewards are developed and nurtured over time. The Underserved Populations Outreach Program (UPOP) was developed by the Missouri Parks Association (MPA) to foster connection between underserved youth and the world of nature through hands-on activities at Missouri’s state parks and historic sites. The program identifies key partners to offer sponsored field trips in coordination with local youth agencies, and to provide optimal educational experiences.  

The Underserved Populations Outreach Program provides field trips to Missouri’s beautiful parks and historic sites for hundreds of kids from the St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia and several southwest Missouri communities. With past success and increasing interest, we look forward to providing expanded and better services to 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 activities are free so that participants 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.

To monitor program success, the Underserved 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.

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

Read a 2022 UPOP Summary Report 
Review a 2023 St. Louis UPOP Flyer 
Support the Underserved Populations Outreach Program