WASHINGTON, DC (JUNE 23, 2014) – The Natural Leaders Network, a program of the Children & Nature Network, along with the office of Senator Patty Murray, hosted a Congressional briefing, “Building the Next Generation of Diverse Nature-Smart Leaders,” during Great Outdoors America Week (GO Week) on June 24 from 12-1:30pm in room SD-562 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. (To follow conversations on Twitter, please use #NaturalLeaders and #GOWeek.)
In partnership with, and featuring panelists from The REI Foundation, The Hispanic Access Foundation, The Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies, and The Wilderness Society, leaders will discuss strategic ways to promote outdoor recreation and conservation among Latino youth, including: informative updates on existing legislation, and programs designed to drive maximum awareness of the outdoors and public lands among diverse audiences.
The briefing is designed to address existing challenges and opportunities facing the conservation community while directing attention to the lack of diversity of park users and outdoor enthusiasts.
As the largest and fastest growing demographic group in the country, trends indicate a growing opportunity for Latinos to become involved in conservation and outdoor recreation challenges. For instance, in this year’s 2014 Outdoor Recreation Topline Participation Report, authored by the Outdoor Foundation, young outdoor enthusiasts were slightly more diverse in 2013 than they were in 2012, thanks to increased Hispanic participation. In fact, Hispanic participation increased from eight percent in 2012 to 10 percent in 2013.
This sentiment was forecasted by a National Council of…