Secretary Sally Jewell Wants to Connect More Children to Nature
In case you missed it, yesterday Interior Secretary Sally Jewell hosted her first live web chat. We already knew she was a champion for connecting kids with the great outdoors when she was the CEO of REI, but we were wondering how she would tackle the growing divide between children and nature in her new role.
During the chat, we posed the following question: "How will you as Secretary of the Interior ensure that more kids have access and opportunities to explore and enjoy America’s Great Outdoors?"
And here’s how she responded.
“The next generation of leaders, in this country, are the children that are being born today, and playing in our playgrounds today. There is a growing disconnect between children and nature across our country for a variety of reasons. We think about screen time and how much time kids spend in front of a screen, but also homework, organized youth sports, things that create time for adults to be telling children what to do. I think that it is critically important that children have time to explore on their own terms, to exercise their curiosity. It is very important in an urbanizing world, and particularly in our country, that kids in urban areas have an opportunity to connect with a park or an open space and explore that to satisfy their own curiosity, to make up their own rules and not just have an adult telling them what to do all the time. I think America’s Great Outdoors provides a great place to do that, whether it is the great outdoors close to home in an urban area or whether it’s the vast lands of the BLM or our National Parks. I look forward to finding opportunities to work across agencies and states and local areas to connect more children to nature overall.”
Watch the recording of the full Earth Day web chat and let us know some of your ideas for connecting kids with nature.