815 Outside is the area’s comprehensive resource for outdoor recreation; inviting residents and visitors of all walks of life to connect with Winnebago County’s natural areas in fun, new ways and develop healthy lifestyle habits.
- Empower people to explore local green spaces by prioritizing accessibility to nature
- Advance public outdoor recreation participation by connecting people with local outdoor and environmental organizations
- Support healthy living in the 815 region with outdoor events, challenges, and ideas
We cannot ignore the intersections of environmentalism and social justice. 815 Outside was started with the mission to empower local individuals and families to experience nature and feel comfortable and confident in the outdoors, and to do this we must recognize and address barriers to outdoor recreation. 815 Outside hosts and promotes free events to welcome and guide people in nature and shares news and resources for those getting started in outdoor recreation. You can learn more about local and national programs working to amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and LGBTQIA+ folks and people with disabilities in nature at Get Inspired.
815 Outside was born out of the idea that Winnebago County has almost 20,000 acres of green space between forest preserves, parks and land trust properties, many of which are underutilized. Click on the images below to learn about the organizations that make up 815 Outside!
Current AmeriCorps Member: Julie Uram
Julie started volunteering through AmeriCorps as the 815 Outside Specialist in April, 2020. She leads our free guided hikes, writes the monthly newsletter, coordinates the summer and winter challenges, and inspires us all to get outside! Born and raised in Rockford, Julie loves learning about and sharing all that the 815 has to offer.