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High Heat Policy

The following guidelines will inform our activities/determine if we will cancel programs on High Heat (91°-103°) and Extreme Heat (over 103°) days. These policies will be amended as needed. Note that as of 2024, this policy considers the fact that high heat cancellations are a burden for both program registrants and Nearby Nature as an organization. Unless programs are cancelled well in advance, we pay our program staff for their planned work time and program overhead is a cost regardless of whether programs happen or not. Families/individuals should read through this policy carefully and make sure it is something they can agree to before registering for our programs, especially if they are happening during the high heat season.

Monitoring: On each day that there is a potential for high heat, we will monitor the outdoor temperature starting an hour and a half before a scheduled program. We ask that you partner with us in this monitoring so that you or anyone in your family scheduled to attend a program is properly prepared. On potential high heat days we ask that you also check your email and texts before you leave for a program to make sure you have received any important updates we have sent.

Program Activities on High Heat Days (91°-103°)

On High Heat days, staff and volunteers will:

  • Ensure that all program participants have regular access to water and encourage frequent drinks.
  • Limit or eliminate high energy running activities and long hikes.
  • Have program participants minimize time in full sun and take frequent rest breaks in shaded areas.
  • Engage program participants in cooling water play on site or take them to wade in the canal/river when possible.
  • Facilitate frequent breaks from face-coverings for anyone who is wearing them.

Program Activities/Cancellations on Extreme Heat days (103° and over)

The same activities guidance that is used on High Heat days will apply. In addition:

  • We may cancel all or part of a program if the forecast calls for temperatures to rise over 103°. For summer daycamps, decisions for morning, afternoon, and full-day camps will be made in the morning and parents/guardians will be alerted via email by an hour before the program’s scheduled start time if their child’s camp has been cancelled or if end-of camp times have been adjusted. You will not hear from us if programs are running as normal.
  • We will cancel all programs if the forecast calls for temperatures to rise over 110°. For summer daycamps, parents/guardians will be alerted via email by an hour before the program’s scheduled start time if their child’s camp has been cancelled.
  • If the temperature goes up unexpectedly during a program day, and it is unsafe to continue the program, you will get an email/text/call from your child’s instructor asking for a pick-up immediately (for youth programs). For public programs, we will simply discontinue the event.

Prevention and Treatment of Heat-Related Illnesses

  • All staff and volunteers will be knowledgeable about and watch carefully for any signs of heat-related illness and will address any issues that arise promptly and appropriately.
  • Posters that remind staff, volunteers, and students about signs to look for and what to do when someone experiences a heat-related illness will available on site.

How Parents/Guardians Can Help When the Weather Heats Up

  • Dress your child in lightweight, breathable clothing and a sunhat.
  • Make sure to send a full water bottle. Refills are available on site.
  • Send your child to programs with a change of clothes and shoes that are okay to get wet so that spontaneous water play can happen.
  • Apply sunscreen before your programs. Send extra in case program participants engage in water play and reapplication is necessary.

Refunds/Program Credits: If we cancel a portion of a program due to high heat after a program has started for the day, we will not offer program credits or refunds. If we cancel or shorten a program before it starts, you will be offered a 50% credit/refund at the end of your program season. Adjustments will be made at the end of the season rather than immediately due to the fact that there may be multiple days/weeks impacted by a high heat event.* You will also be offered the opportunity to decline this credit/refund in support of our programs or turn the value of your accumulated credits/refunds into a donation to our Every Child Outside Fund. If it is not a hardship for your family, your decision to decline your credit/refund or to make a donation would be very much appreciated.  The added administrative time needed for facilitating credits/refunds and the income lost due to program cancellations is a hardship for Nearby Nature’s finances.

*If waiting until the end of the season for a credit/refund is a hardship for your family, email and we will make an alternative arrangement.

(Updated 2-2-24)