Conservation Learning Summit

Conservation Challenge: A Re-Commitment to the Future.

Diverse Groups Join Together to "Leave No Child Inside"

CLS_logo_color2: CLS_logo_color2Washington D.C., April 24, 2006. Decades after the first Earth Day, a diverse group of organizations, public agencies and individuals came together at the National Press Club to announce an ambitious agenda to re-connect youth with nature and prepare a future work force to take care of the nation’s natural resources. The event was convened by the Paul F-Brandwein Institute following a Conservation Learning Summit held in November and keynoted by Richard Louv, author of the best-selling book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.

Inspired by Louv's book, organizers announced the formation of a new campaign to Leave No Child Inside and cited Louv's statement, "Western society is sending an unintended message to children: nature is the past, electronics are the future and the bogeyman lives in the woods. This script is delivered in schools, families, even organizations devoted to the outdoors and codified into the legal and regulatory structures of many of our communities. Healing the broken bond between our young and nature is in our self-interest, not only because aesthetics or justice demand it, but also because our mental, physical, and spiritual health depend upon it. So does the health of the earth. Conservation-oriented groups are beginning to realize that a generation that has had little or no personal connection to nature is unlikely to produce passionate stewards of the earth."

Leading representatives of the nation's largest conservation organizations, senior officials in US federal agencies, deans of colleges and universities, business leaders and government officials embraced the purpose and vision of this new campaign.

Organizations represented at this event included the Foundation for Our Future, National Park Foundation, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Children and Nature Network, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawksong Associates, Global Environmental Technologies Foundation, USDA Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service, Council of Environmental Deans and Directors, National Conservation Training Center, World Conservation Union (IUCN-CEC), Morris K. Udall Foundation, Funmeister Publishing, Paget Films, EarthEcho International, Media and Policy Center Foundation, Sierra Club, and the North American Association for Environmental Education.