Student Conservation Association Lauds America’s Great Outdoors Report

Says Focus on Youth Programs, Career Pathways Will Extend Nation’s Natural Heritage
Feb 17, 2011 8:36 AM ET

 (3BL Media / theCSRfeed) February 17, 2011 - The Student Conservation Association (SCA), a national leader in youth service and stewardship, today hailed the release of the Obama administration’s America’s Great Outdoors report, which aims to reconnect citizens with nature and protect public lands. In particular, says SCA President Dale Penny, plans to engage youth through a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps and create career pathways in resource conservation and historic preservation “will extend our natural and cultural heritage for decades, if not centuries, to come.”

Penny saluted federal leaders for collecting the input of a wide range of Americans, including many young people, during a nationwide listening tour. “The voices of our citizens have shaped a vision for our future,” Penny states. “We must now put these ideas into action. They will benefit both our environment and our economy, and the sooner we proceed, the greater the rewards.” Penny also recognized the hundreds of SCA members and alumni who participated in the America’s Great Outdoors listening sessions. “Through their service on the land, the diverse young women and men of SCA demonstrate conservation leadership on a daily basis,” he notes, “yet their greatest contributions may be their thoughtful recommendations on how best to keep our Great Outdoors great, which are reflected throughout this plan.”

In addition to increasing nature-based service and career opportunities, the America’s Great Outdoor report calls fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund, expanding recreational access to public lands, and creating new urban parks, among many other initiatives. Also, an entire section of the report outlines what it refers to as “the special role of young people” in conservation, and contains numerous proposals for increasing access and opportunities for youth on public lands. “By engaging our young people in the outdoors, we ensure that nature will remain relevant and valued resource throughout their lives,” Penny says. “Just as important, these initiatives will help our children lead healthier lifestyles and gain greater capacities and confidence. This is a classic win-win for our country.”

For more information on the America’s Great Outdoors report, visit

About the Student Conservation Association

The Student Conservation Association is the only national organization that develops tomorrow's conservation leaders by providing high school and college students with conservation service opportunities in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests. Founded in 1957, the nonprofit SCA has offices in Boise, ID, Charlestown, NH, Oakland, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, Seattle, WA and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

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