White House Honors “Champions of Change” for Engaging the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders
March 18, 2014
Stacie Gilmore, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Environmental Learning for Kids to be honored
WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, the White House will honor fourteen local heroes who are “Champions of Change” for their efforts to engage communities and youth in environmental stewardship and conservation. Through innovative approaches, they are creating opportunities for the next generation of Americans to take part in outdoor recreation and physical activity.
In 2010, President Obama created the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to encourage Americans, particularly children, to enjoy our country’s rivers and waterways, farms and forests, and local and national parks. As part of this initiative, the President created the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps to establish quality jobs, career pathways and service opportunities for youth and veterans. Building on this, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell recently launched an effort to inspire millions of young people to play, learn, serve and work outdoors, through forming outdoor recreation partnerships in 50 cities to create new outdoor play opportunities for more than 10 million young people; providing educational opportunities to at least 10 million of the nation’s K-12 student population annually; engaging 1 million volunteers annually on public lands; and providing 100,000 work and training opportunities to young people, including through public-private partnerships.
President Obama believes we have a moral obligation to our future generations to leave them a planet that is not polluted or damaged. That is why in June of 2013 he launched a comprehensive Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution, and prepare our communities and ecosystems for the impacts of climate change we are already seeing. Engaging the next generation of conservation leaders is a key component of the Administration’s work to connect young people with the outdoors, confront the challenges of climate change, better manage our public lands and waters, and benefit the environment, public health, and the economy.
The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.