Everyone Outside is a 501(c)3 non-profit based in central Connecticut
Everyone Outside offers a variety of children’s programs including after-school programs at area schools and green spaces, day-time homeschool programs, monthly weekend programs for pre-teen girls, programs for schools, baby/preschooler and caregiver playgroups and a Farm and Forest summer program. EO provides field trips and schoolyard programs to area schools. EO Family and adult programs are also enjoyed by a wide audience. Our monthly Women of the Woods (WoW) hikes are also popular.
All of our public programs are free or have a sliding scale fee structure. Most of our school affiliated programs and field trips are of no cost to the students or schools. We greatly appreciate the grantors and donors that make this possible.
Everyone Outside's mission is to guide people to cultivate a deeper relationship with the natural world near where they live. Our goals are to build a healthy community, mentor people to connect with nature and inspire them to be passionate caretakers of our earth. We strive to make the benefits of nature connection accessible by focusing on local adventures and making programs affordable.
Everyone Outside grew out of Lucy Meigs' passion to connect people with the natural world. She has been leading walks to take adults and children out into nature since 1998. In 2006 she assisted Lori Brant at Connecticut Forest & Park Association with starting what is now the WalkCT Family Rambles Program. Lucy started Women of the Woods or WoW in 2008 with the goal of connecting women with the natural world though monthly walks in the woods.
In 2010, Everyone Outside was created with partial funding from Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation (CVEF) and the Rockfall Foundation. CVEF funding enabled Lucy to create activities & programs including the popular Frog Friday walk series that brings people to vernal pools to understand and enjoy the amazing variety of life and the transformations that occur in these pools in the spring. Rockfall Foundation funding enabled Lucy to team with Marcy Klattenberg & Cathy Carrington, to create a curriculum for the Wadsworth Legacy Properties, offer field trips, guided walks, the development the Everyone Outside website, etc. In 2011, Girls Outside was created with partial funding from the Middlesex County Community Foundation (MCCF) to enable girls to learn about & connect with the natural world.
Since 2012, Everyone Outside has been able to provide free outdoor nature education programs for thousands of children and adults with funding from the Rockfall Foundation, the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, the Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation, a partnership with the Northern Middlesex YMCA and a partnership with the Middlesex Land Trust.
Meet our staff:
Lucy Meigs, Director
Lucy has been leading walks since 1998 and founded Women of the Woods in 2008 and then Everyone Outside in 2010. She has a PhD in Geology and 20+ years of experience hiking, camping, foraging, and helping others learn to do the same. She also loves making handcrafts from natural materials and leads basketry workshops for adults and children.
Lisa Liesener, Children's Programs Director
In 2015, Lisa Liesener joined Everyone Outside as a board member, Programs and Summer Camp Director and educator. She has a background in Environmental Sustainable Engineering and is also active in the Middletown Complete Streets Committee, the Middlesex VITA Coalition and the Middletown Garden Club's Pollinator Pathways Initiative.
Lisa grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and has loved spending time outside all year long from a very young age.