Involving Youth in Our Forests

By czeller 5 years ago

The Conservation Center’s mission is supported by pillars of public lands and education and outreach. Together, these two pillars give us a platform to empower our community, regardless of age, to understand the lands around them. And while we love to connect adults to nature and educate them about the issues straining our landscapes, connecting children with the wonder around them is the most rewarding action of all.

The Conservation Center is committed to providing environmental education opportunities for North Fork Valley students. From our annual Conservation Days Field Trip for nearly every Delta County Fourth Grader to kicking up macro-invertebrates at the Paonia River Park during our Inaugural BioBlitz to partnering with institutions such as the US Forest Service to engage students in the forests of their backyard, the moments of wonder and discovery fuel our work.

We are excited for what the future holds. In the face of concerns about “nature deficit disorder,” the Conservation Center prides itself on connecting itself with other engaging organizations that get kids outside. One of our largest partners, the US Forest Service, is also the source of much of our excitement because of their institutional commitment to connecting children with nature. The Forest Service, like the Conservation Center, recognizes that “today’s youth will be tomorrow’s conservation stewards and leaders,” and they enumerate their dedication to shaping those future stewards in their report titled “USDA Forest Service Integrated Strategy for Youth:
Implementing the Forest Service’s mission by developing the next generation of conservation stewards and leaders.”

Read the first paragraph of the report below or click here to read the full report, published in May, 2015.

“Today’s youth will be tomorrow’s conservation stewards and leaders. Our vision of our work with youth is a future where all America’s children, no matter where they live, have the opportunity to learn about—and love—our Nation’s forests and grasslands. A future where many partners join hands to ensure that youth have the opportunity to experience nature, to understand the natural world and its broader connections, and to gain the tools and experience needed to care for the land. A future where all Forest Service employees play a role in reaching youth and are supported by Forest Service leadership and resources. This future nurtures an environmentally literate society, a constituency that cares about the management of public lands and waters and engages in their future, and a skilled and committed Forest Service workforce that reflects the face of America. Our work today with engaging youth is critical to the health of our Nation’s forests and grasslands, the continued vibrancy and relevancy of the Forest Service, and ultimately, to the health of American society.” -USDA Forest Service Integrated Strategy for Youth: Implementing the Forest Service’s mission by developing the next generation of conservation stewards and leaders.


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