|American Public Health Association adopts 17 new policy statements at Annual Meeting
Getting Kids Outdoors – New Support from the Health Community
If you value play outdoors and nature-based play... a new policy statement was just voted on by a leading health authority that can be used as reference for support info for plans, grants, reports, etc. On Nov. 5 the American Public Health Association voted on several new policy statements at its annual meeting. Below is the one that relates to nature-based play and recreation:
20137 Nature, health and wellness — To aid in promoting healthy and active lifestyles, encourages land use decisions that prioritize access to natural areas and green spaces for residents of all ages, abilities and income levels. Calls on public health, medical and other health professionals to raise awareness among patients and the public at-large about the health benefits of spending time in nature and of nature-based play and recreation. Also urges such professionals to form partnerships with relevant stakeholders, such as parks departments, school districts and nature centers. Calls for promoting natural landscaping...
These brief descriptions are not comprehensive and do not include every point, statement or conclusion presented in the policy statements. Upon finalization and copy editing, full policy statements will be available at www.apha.org/advocacy/policy in early 2014. For more information on any of these policy statements, email email@example.com .
Press release: http://www.apha.org/about/news/pressreleases/2013/2013adoptedpolicystatements.htm
|NJA: Pete Dunne Announces New Role
NEW JERSEY AUDUBON NEWS RELEASE
Pete Dunne, NJ Audubon's longest serving staff person, plans to leave Cape May to assume a statewide ambassadorial role
Thirty-seven years ago, a 25-year old birder named Pete Dunne came to Cape May to expand New Jersey's bird conservation focus in the region. Ultimately becoming the Cape May Bird Observatory's Director, Dunne used his promotional and communication skills to advance Cape May's fame as North America's premier bird watching location. A fame it justly deserved and one that the 62-year old senior employee now wants to see expanded to incorporate the entire Garden State. Some may recall Dunne as the author of the column, In the Natural State, that was a regular feature in the New Jersey Sunday Section of the New York Times between 1976 and 2001.
"Cape May is not a geographic aberration," says Dunne, who was raised in the northern part of the state and moved to South Jersey in 1976. The fact is, all of New Jersey is a bird-rich eco-tourist destination. What has lagged is awareness. In geographic fact, the entire state is a bird supporting peninsula - Cape May is just the southern tip - akin to a Baja, New Jersey. "What I hope to do with the balance of my career is confer upon New Jersey the same appreciation Cape May enjoys among bird watchers," states Dunne.
New Jersey Audubon's statewide sanctuary network is the ideal promotional vehicle for this ambition, but it is New Jersey and its multitude of protected natural areas that constitute the star attraction. "We have it all here," says Dunne, "all the ingredients that made Cape May famous plus an extraordinary diversity of breeding, wintering and migratory birds. in addition to great natural spectacles like world renowned hawk migrations at both ends of the state. We enjoy a statewide tourist infrastructure. We're served by three international airports and our compact geographic size is an advantage, too. Visitors can drive from what is essentially Canadian-zone forest in the northern part of the state to coastal Carolina habitat (in Cape May) in less than three hours."
This diversity of habitat is precisely why New Jersey hosts the World Series of Birding - an event started by Dunne and organized by New Jersey Audubon. Only in Texas and California have more species of birds been recorded in a single day than in New Jersey. Yes, Texas and California have wonderful natural areas and great bird diversity, but no more than New Jersey. Yet tens of thousands of European birders travel to Texas and California every year. But, it's not just visitors that Dunne hopes to excite. "New Jersey residents have a National Geographic Special on their doorstep," proclaims Dunne. Suburbia is fast becoming a forest landscape with houses tucked in. Today Wild Turkey is almost as common a suburban bird as American Robin."
When John James Audubon visited the state in 1829, turkeys were extirpated. Now they're back in numbers - attesting to New Jersey's environmental health. Birds vote with their wings. If they're here, the environment supports them. And, if we as decision makers continue to exercise wisdom, birds will continue to be part of every New Jersey residents dowry.
Unfettered of his duties as Cape May Bird Observatory Director sometime this summer, Dunne hopes to move seasonally between New Jersey Audubon's Northern and Southern Centers serving as a "bird watching ambassador."
New Jersey Audubon President Eric Stiles summarizes: "Pete has touched many lives through the wonder of birds and birding. As a birder, teacher, natural history maven and master chronicler of the natural world, I want to personally thank Pete for all he has accomplished as CMBO Director and will accomplish as our top ambassador…Pete and I will be spending the months ahead planning the transition."
|An Encouraging Month in Congress for Environmental Education - July 2013
An Encouraging Month in Congress for Environmental Education - July 2013
Environmental education made solid progress (and held off cuts) on several issues over the past few weeks that deserve celebrating. The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) has been active in supporting all of these advances and we invite you to join the efforts by signing up for our Action Network by emailing your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will put you on the list to receive advance notice of these sorts of actions, and invite you to participate in our monthly calls and periodic advocacy actions.
Here are some of the highlights:
- The No Child Left Inside (NCLI) bill was re-introduced into Congress on Tuesday, July 16th, with bipartisan support (S. 1306, H.R. 2702). The legislation has helped to propel environmental education in the U.S. forward by inspiring the development of state Environmental Literacy Plans (ELPs), and is now before the 113th Congress. A big thanks goes to Sen. Jack Reed (RI-D) and Rep. John Sarbanes (MD-D), the lead NCLI sponsors in this and previous sessions, and joining them this year, were Sen. Mark Kirk (IL-R) and Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (PA-R). The bill has a long way to travel, but this introduction is a critical step on the way to becoming a cornerstone of EE funding for the field. Many thanks to the NCLI Coalition and to all of you who helped support this effort.
- The environmental education field received word in early July that our long-standing desire of inserting some of the provisions of NCLI into the larger Congressional education bill took an important step forward. The most senior EE champion, Rep. George Miller (CA), ranking member on the House Education and Workforce Committee, has prepared an amendment to H.R. 5, the successor to the No Child Left Behind Act, that would secure some key elements of NCLI in that larger bill. The amendment process does not begin for a while, but our supporters are ready when the time comes. Thanks as always to Rep. Miller!
- Several ongoing EE-related appropriations moved forward in the Senate during the week of July 15th. Funding for the NOAA B-WET program, which supports bay and estuary education, and the environmental literacy grant program, both advanced in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies. This was a strong endorsement of the programs, and counter to the move to consolidate all STEM-related education funding into one undifferentiated program; such a consolidation would effectively eliminate these vital funding streams. We send our appreciation to the subcommittee.
- Finally, Gina McCarthy was sworn in as the EPA Administrator on July 18th, and we are pleased to report that she is known as a true friend of environmental education. We know from many of her former staff and colleagues that she has been a strong champion of EE throughout her career. We welcome Administrator McCarthy, and also give a big thanks to outgoing Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe, who has been a strong leader and supporter of environmental education throughout his career. We’re thrilled that he is staying on as Deputy Administrator to help continue his important work protecting the environment and helping to advance environmental education.
Thanks to everyone who helped all of this move forward!
The NAAEE Advocacy Team