The extraordinarily insightful Nature of Americans study illuminates both the longing for and barriers to the natural world, and offers new documentation that will help those who connect children, families, and communities to the natural world. For example, the insight that nature experiences are so often intensely social activities, a reminder of a sometimes forgotten key to connecting children to nature. Congratulations to the late Steve Kellert and DJ Case for such fine work.
What people are saying . . .
We are proud to have helped support The Nature of Americans study, which reinforces the importance of developing compelling content and experiences that connect people to the magic of nature. It is so critical that we all work together to help the next generation live happier and healthier lives – while inspiring them to care for the environment.
We live in a world more and more disconnected from nature, but the growing question — and perhaps the one of most concern — is why. This groundbreaking research delves into the depths of this disconnect with nature to give conservation organizations a glimpse of the hard work that needs to happen to keep conservation relevant in the 21st century. This is a call to action and we must act!
Americans clearly care about nature and recognize its benefits for their health and well-being. Yet alarmingly, The Nature of Americans research findings show it is becoming normal to stay indoors. Our challenge is to work together to reverse that trend and ensure that more of us experience the natural world. These results will help fish and wildlife agencies across the nation encourage more Americans to get outdoors and enjoy fish and wildlife resources.
The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida is a proud partner in this ground-breaking research. Floridians clearly shared how important their connection to nature is, and how vital it is to continue efforts to instill in our children a love and respect for the out of doors. The results of this remarkable project will have lasting effects for generations to come.
I’m proud that during my tenure as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director, we provided major financial support for this incredibly important research. Now, as president and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, I’m heartened to see that zoos and aquariums rank among the favorite, most popular, and most memorable nature activities of parents and children, but especially children. Because America is increasingly urban, it is clear that zoos, aquariums, and nature and science centers will become increasingly important opportunities for people to connect to and enjoy the benefits of nature. AZA’s 232 accredited members are ready to run toward this opportunity.
This study will be of great importance to us as we look for ways to best engage Americans of all backgrounds in nature, wildlife conservation and their public lands. It’s our job not only to help friends and families connect their passion for the outdoors with their great National Wildlife Refuge System heritage, but also to ensure that this unparalleled American legacy of public lands stewardship for the benefit of all continues long into the future.
This research gives us great insight into the value that Floridians have for the natural world. The findings also show us the barriers we must surmount to ensure our citizens experience nature's benefits. Nature of Americans reinforces our commitment to bring people and wild places together for the long-term health and well-being of both.
As one of the foremost non-profit conservation organizations focused on protecting and restoring habitat, Ducks Unlimited is very interested in the results of this important study of Americans and nature. We have long recognized the benefits of the natural world to people and our society, and this outstanding study not only reinforces how important it is, but also informs Ducks Unlimited about how to design our work to help contribute to Americans living healthier and happier lives.
The vitality of our state’s efforts to conserve our wild things and wild places depends on the connection Texans have with the natural world around them. For us to be successful engaging our diverse and burgeoning communities, it is imperative that we understand how people from all ages, backgrounds, and geographies view nature and how they choose to experience the outdoors. The Nature of Americans study helps answer these fundamental questions, giving us much-needed insight about how best to tailor future outreach, programs, and services to meet people where they really are, not where we assume they are.
The results and recommendations of this unprecedented study chart a clear path towards happier, healthier lives. Parents and organizations must make outside activities a priority in their lives. Whether at national park, wildlife refuge, state or neighborhood park, or in the back yard, Americans must connect to nature to fully develop socially and physically.
This study illuminates what many of us have known to be true for years — that we enjoy and benefit from our time outdoors, but don't get outside nearly enough; that access to, and comfort in, nature is divided along racial lines; and that we develop a love for nature when we are able to experience it regularly and socially. Now — armed with data affirming these statements — I am hopeful that we will all take more seriously the importance of connecting children and adults with the natural world. We look forward to supporting the creative and thoughtful programming that this data demands of us.