The future success of conservation lies ultimately in our ability to inspire Americans to connect with the outdoors and nature, and to become stewards of the environment. Americans are spending less time outdoors, and are becoming more ethnically and racially diverse. With more than 80% of Americans now living in urban areas, our challenge is to become relevant in their daily lives. Without public awareness and support, our conservation mission will not succeed. The Urban Wildlife Conservation Refuge Program follows these eight standards of excellence that serve as a framework for collaboration among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local communities:
- Know and relate to the community.
- Use stepping stones to engage people in nature.
- Build partnerships.
- Be a community asset.
- Ensure adequate long-term resources.
- Provide equitable access.
- Ensure visitors feel welcome and safe.
- Model sustainability.