A June 26 Capital article reported that the America’s Great Outdoor Listening Session in Annapolis was well-attended. The Great Outdoor listening sessions will influence federal funding decisions for national, state, and local parks.
Hundreds of people attended a “listening and learning session” at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis yesterday to take part in President Barack Obama’s “America’s Great Outdoors” initiative.
“I see this as a movement,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “I see it as a march for conservation.” …
Obama established the initiative in April to reconnect people to the environment and bring science-based techniques to restoring land and water. The secretaries of agriculture and the interior, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the chair of the Council on Environmental Quality are attending meetings around the country to solicit input.
A report will be submitted to the president by Nov. 15. The meeting yesterday was also attended by Gov. Martin O’Malley, U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Baltimore, and U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Baltimore. …
Panelists urged Salazar to prioritize not only areas such as Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon but the smaller city parks that are often the first encounter residents have with nature.
Robert Etgen, the executive director of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, said a child can even grow up in Easton without having the chance to wade in a stream or go fishing.
“There is a lot of work to do,” he said. “We have to find a way to inspire the coming generations to do that work for us.”