Now more than ever, we know that connections are crucial. Connections to friends, family, colleagues, and the outdoors. One silver lining we in the environmental education field have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic is a newfound appreciation for outdoor spaces and opportunities to access them. People around the world have gained a new sense of wonder and respect for the outdoors, and we believe this new sense of appreciation will continue even after the pandemic wanes.
We have long believed that outdoor experiences connect us to ourselves, to each other, and to the world around us, reminding us that we are part of a much bigger story. Never has this seemed more true than today. Building connections to the natural world increases people’s quality of life, health, and social wellbeing, and we believe this is the key to a sustainable future.
Today, we and millions of people all around the world will celebrate our planet while striving, unceasingly, to improve it. Today, we will connect with others to further the movement toward a sustainable future. And today, we will reflect on what gives us hope, what we gain from time outdoors, and what inspires us each and every day. Today, we ask, what does hope look like to you?
By Leigh Cocanougher
KAEE is one of the country’s oldest associations supporting environmental education. We comprise people from all walks of life, coming together to support EE.