President Obama Invests in Connecting Children with Nature

Historic $50 million in new investments proposed to connect children and families to the great outdoors

05-18-2009 // Patrick Fitzgerald

President Obama's fiscal 2010 budget proposal at the Department of Interior contains an historic $50 million in new investments to connect children and families to the great outdoors. The budget targets $30 million for educating young hunters and anglers, as well as $20 million in new funding for Youth Careers in Nature. This DOI initiative, dubbed the 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps, will bolster environmental education, recreation, and service programs throughout the Department, and engage thousands of youth in the outdoors.

Kevin Coyle, Vice President for Education and Training at the National Wildlife Federation, said:

"President Obama's budget makes a bold and necessary investment to connect today's children with the great outdoors.

"We applaud Secretary Salazar for his momentous actions to engage youth at the Department of Interior by creating a new Youth Office and proposing a major new investment through the 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps.

"We are pleased with the new investment in educating young hunters and anglers. Research shows that children today spend half as much time outdoors as they did just 20 years ago. This indoor generation needs more opportunities and encouragement to engage with the natural world.

"The Youth Careers in Nature initiative will double the amount of funding for key agencies such as the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Geological Survey to develop innovative approaches through environmental education, recreation, and service to engage youth on public lands and peak their interest in careers in public service."

The National Wildlife Federation inspires Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.

Contacts:

Patrick Fitzgerald, NWF Senior Legislative Representative, (202) 870-0824, fitzgeraldp@nwf.org

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