Event Title

Connect Programs, People and Nature Through Communications Networks and Effective Leadership

Location

Natural Resources Meeting Room

Event Website

http://uenr.warnercnr.colostate.edu/

Start Date

3-23-2012 10:30 AM

End Date

3-23-2012 11:00 AM

Description

For decades, agencies, organizations, educational institutions, and individuals have funded and conducted conservation and outdoor education programs using trained staff and volunteers. Unfortunately, outcomes have not solved the urbanizing dilemma of a disconnected society from nature. Recruitment and retention of persons into lifelong outdoor pursuits have not resulted in numbers sufficient to replace those exiting outdoor pursuits. Universities, agencies, nongovernmental organizations, parents, and friends have a greater leadership responsibility to encourage interest in outdoor behaviors that lead to sound nature conservation and personal stewardship. Unfortunately, what we have done in the past got us to where we are today: resulting in fewer anglers, hunters, shooters, and visitors to parks and forests. Lacking are integrated networks of programs, communications, leaders, mentors, and motivations to be in nature when modern, and essentially urbanized life, provides other options. The “Last Child in the Woods” book by Richard Louv (2008) popularized and focused recent public attention on a lost generation in the outdoors suffering from "nature deficit disorder." Louv suggests in “the Nature Principle” (2011), that organized networks such as local family clubs are the missing ingredients for connectivity. I call this needed ssociation of like-minded-peers “Community Conservation Clubs” (Benson 2010). It is widely understood that a close support group of family and friends who are outdoor participants is the trigger mechanism to recruit, develop and retain participants in nature. The support base dwindles as humans urbanize and lose rural contacts. Urban societies spend increasing time with electronic media and are overcommitted to work, urban forms of recreation, and other urban socialization mechanisms. Together, we need to create local networks of programs, communications, and leaders to develop innovative programs that recruit and retain outdoor users and conservation supporters by providing linked access to places and opportunities. Local groups or clubs can provide socialization networks of conservation-homes with frequent and consistent contacts for the already engaged; and motivation and inspiration for the uninformed, untrained and unassociated. Together, we will move along an adoption continuum in a welcoming and nurturing social context. Doers make doers by creating a habit of behavior in conservation operating where the people live.

Comments

Citation: Bensen, DE. 2012. Connect Programs, People and Nature Through Communications Networks and Effective Leadership. UENR 9th Biennial Conference. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/9thBiennial/Sessions/8/

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Mar 23rd, 10:30 AM Mar 23rd, 11:00 AM

Connect Programs, People and Nature Through Communications Networks and Effective Leadership

Natural Resources Meeting Room

For decades, agencies, organizations, educational institutions, and individuals have funded and conducted conservation and outdoor education programs using trained staff and volunteers. Unfortunately, outcomes have not solved the urbanizing dilemma of a disconnected society from nature. Recruitment and retention of persons into lifelong outdoor pursuits have not resulted in numbers sufficient to replace those exiting outdoor pursuits. Universities, agencies, nongovernmental organizations, parents, and friends have a greater leadership responsibility to encourage interest in outdoor behaviors that lead to sound nature conservation and personal stewardship. Unfortunately, what we have done in the past got us to where we are today: resulting in fewer anglers, hunters, shooters, and visitors to parks and forests. Lacking are integrated networks of programs, communications, leaders, mentors, and motivations to be in nature when modern, and essentially urbanized life, provides other options. The “Last Child in the Woods” book by Richard Louv (2008) popularized and focused recent public attention on a lost generation in the outdoors suffering from "nature deficit disorder." Louv suggests in “the Nature Principle” (2011), that organized networks such as local family clubs are the missing ingredients for connectivity. I call this needed ssociation of like-minded-peers “Community Conservation Clubs” (Benson 2010). It is widely understood that a close support group of family and friends who are outdoor participants is the trigger mechanism to recruit, develop and retain participants in nature. The support base dwindles as humans urbanize and lose rural contacts. Urban societies spend increasing time with electronic media and are overcommitted to work, urban forms of recreation, and other urban socialization mechanisms. Together, we need to create local networks of programs, communications, and leaders to develop innovative programs that recruit and retain outdoor users and conservation supporters by providing linked access to places and opportunities. Local groups or clubs can provide socialization networks of conservation-homes with frequent and consistent contacts for the already engaged; and motivation and inspiration for the uninformed, untrained and unassociated. Together, we will move along an adoption continuum in a welcoming and nurturing social context. Doers make doers by creating a habit of behavior in conservation operating where the people live.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/9thBiennial/Sessions/8