Student Conservation Association President & CEO Jaime Berman Matyas’ statement on Every Kid in a Park
As the Student Conservation Association increases the number of young Americans empowered through hands-on service-learning in national parks and on public lands, we support both the practice and the spirit of placing Every Kid in a Park. Working in cities across the U.S., SCA’s ConSERVE community service events and Urban Tree House elementary-level environmental education programs aim to engage 1,000 fourth graders annually to support the Every Kid in a Park initiative. SCA will also leverage its national social media audience to promote the initiative and share the value of connecting young people to nature.
Just this week, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell noted the need to leverage this year’s National Park Service Centennial and inspire Americans to embrace the great outdoors, and to increase service and other engagement opportunities for youth from all backgrounds. At the same time, SCA and the National Park Service announced the renewal and expansion of our Centennial Volunteer Ambassador program, a joint initiative that will mark the Park Service’s 100th anniversary by placing 100 young adults in parks across the country, where SCA members will build the ranks of park volunteers and supporters.
Innovative strategies like Every Kid in a Park and our Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors will help ensure that generations of young people enjoy connections to parks and public lands – connections that will grow as these youth grow, resulting in their ongoing stewardship of America’s rich natural and cultural heritage. This has been at the core of SCA’s mission for nearly 60 years, and we look forward to working with our National Park Service and Department of the Interior partners to advance these important objectives in the months and years ahead.