It was a beautiful sunny spring morning yesterday at the 15,000 acre Prince William Forest Park. Debbie Sease and I, along with a diverse array of over 50 outdoors and conservation leaders, joined Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Parks Superintendent Jon Jarvis to discuss how to connect American families with nature and our special places.
Secretary Jewell clearly and passionately understands that connecting kids and families outdoors is absolutely critical for the future of our communities, public lands and wildlife. She spoke eloquently of the power of private and public sector partnerships, and her great optimism that working smartly together we can collectively make a big difference.
Debbie and I highlighted the Sierra Club's growing outdoors programs that get over 250,000 kids and adults outdoors--from inner city kids to military families-- as well as our own Jackie Ostfeld's leadership in the Outdoors Alliance for Kids where she pushes for policies and funding to get kids outdoors. We got some great kudos from Sheri, with Blue Star Families, about a recent Sierra Club grant to help them get their military families to an outing in the Park.
Secretary Jewell ended her comments by highlighting the need to consolidate all the mapping data out there to better identify lands of high value for wildlife and recreation, cultural and historical values, as well as those of high energy development value. She urged all of us to be active and smart as we work together to create a healthy future for our children and our public lands. We're looking forward to what is in store.
--Dan Chu, Sr. Campaign Director, Our Wild America