When Obama released his official budget for 2010 a while back, lots of folks groused about how much money our new president planned to blow through in such a short time. But at least some of it will be well-spent: Obama has reserved $50 million to go directly towards investments that will foster family and child participation in the great outdoors.
With the help of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the president set aside $30 million for educating young hunters and anglers, with another $20 million going toward the Department of the Interior's 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps. Through the Youth Corps, thousands of kids will aid the National Park Service and other Interior Department branches in environmental education, recreation, and service programs that should improve our national parks and wildlands.
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 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.”
Do you have a young person at home? How will you engage them in the outdoors? Tell us in the comments section.