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Journeys Through America is a nonprofit organization providing educational material for all school-aged children across the country. The program will form partnerships with local school districts to provide children with a new, interactive, educational experience integrating the history of America and its National Parks. Journeys Through America's goal is to foster a fun and adventurous learning environment that will promote altruistic growth within our children and our greater community.

America’s Great Outdoors

By Feb 16th 2011 No Comments »

This afternoon, President Obama delivered a much-anticipated speech – a report on the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, a program which was launched just last year in an effort to preserve America’s park lands and open spaces.  It was brief but delivered a strong message.  It was, as I understood, a call to action – not just to lawmakers and government officials, but also to those individuals willing to take on the future challenges of preserving our open spaces.  As Obama put it, ‘Today, our open spaces are now more precious than ever…”

He couldn’t be more correct – the tangible acreage of America’s open spaces as well as the intrinsic value that they possess are dwindling. We need to save what we have left.  As much as it was a ‘call to action’ it was also a demonstration of our government taking action. President Obama announced the full-funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund – a trust that was originally established in 1965 to provide money for our national parks, forests and wildlife areas. The money to fund the LWCF is to come from existing oil and gas leasing revenues. And his reasoning for this…(this part was my favorite)…

“Our attitude is if you take something out of the Earth, you have a responsibility to give a little bit back to the Earth.”

how awesome is that?

In that short 20 minute speech, President Obama delivered sentence-after-sentence of goosbump-provoking truths regarding our great outdoors. On conservation, he pointed out that maybe the act of saving our wilderness is essentially in our blood…

“It embodies that uniquely American idea that each of us has an equal share in the land around us, and an equal responsibility to protect it. And it’s not just the iconic mountains and parks that we protect.  It’s the forests where generations of families have hiked and picnicked and connected with nature.  It’s the park down the street where kids play after school.  It’s the farmland that’s been in the family longer than anybody can remember.  It’s the rivers where we fish, it’s the forests where we hunt.”

As Karianne & I started the Journeys Through America endeavor, it wasn’t only because we both had this undying love and appreciation for our National Parks and America’s Great Outdoors, but it was also because we saw a lack of interest to experience the beauty of our natural surroundings – mostly in young adults.  With the powers of technology skyrocketing faster than the speed of light and with childhood obesity levels consistently rising, it’s clear to see what generations are completely missing out! Both Karianne & I feel that America’s National Parks behold the greatest educational lesson of all time – it’s our history & culture lesson, science, & hey, even gym class, all in one – and it’s here for each and every one of us. Our National Parks are our most valuable teachers. With this proposed funding, you and I can only hope that future generations will be able to see what we see, hike what we hike, fish where we fish and play in the same big backyard.

To quote Obama once more…”The great Rachel Carson once wrote that “The real wealth of the nation lies in the resources of the Earth -— soil, water, forests, minerals, wildlife… Their administration is not properly, and cannot be, a matter of politics.”  Something more than politics.  That was the call echoed by Jefferson and Lincoln and Roosevelt.  It’s the call that has driven generations of Americans to do their part to protect a small slice of the planet.  And it’s the call that we answer today.”

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