This year, over 8,000 people participated in the sixth annual Leatherback Turtle Festival, celebrating the endangered Leatherback Turtle - the world's largest marine turtle - that nests in Puerto Rico's Northeast Ecological Corridor. Sierra Club's Puerto Rico Chapter is working to protect the Corridor from development. Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune and his family had the opportunity to join the festivities, and even got to see a Leatherback.
Sierra Club Volunteer Earns 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Recognition
National Geographic asks: "How does a boy whose family lived in a tool shed in South Central Los Angeles grow up to be a national leader, invited to the White House, and driven to change an entire generation's relationship with nature? Ask Juan Martinez.
We asked Juan what he plans to do with his $10,000 award money. He said, "I will organize some trips for kids in my community and install more raised bed gardens around the hood." While Juan appreciates the award, he believes that it really represents his family, friends, mentors, and the community that has supported him along his journey. Juan says, "I am but one story of many yet to be told and I hope that this motivates people to look for unlikely sources of motivation and inspiration in the youth and communities who are often times overlooked. This is a movement that transcends all socio-economic sectors. Together we can make a cultural shift for the new nature movement."
Congratulations, Juan. Your tireless work to connect children from all backgrounds with nature is an inspiration to us all.
Welcome Stacy Bare
As a veteran of our most recent conflict in Iraq, it was the outdoors, rock climbing specifically, that Stacy credits with saving his life and giving him the coping tools to work through depression and issues stemming from both Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress issues. This month, Stacy joined the Sierra Club team as our National Military and Veterans Representative to help make the outdoors readily available to the military and veteran communities, including families and children. Stacy hopes to see you on the trail!
The goal of the Sierra Club's Building Bridges to the Outdoors (BBTO) program is to give every child in America an outdoor experience...leave no child inside! Find out more on our website.
Public Lands Service Corps: This month the Public Lands Service Corps Act of 2011 was introduced in the Senate. The bill would make more opportunities available to teenagers and young adults to gain land stewardship skills and training while preparing public lands for the threats they face from climate change. Early in the year, the bill was introduced in the House of Representatives.
National Get Outdoors Month is coming up in June. How will you get outdoors?
6th Sense: Do kids have a stronger connection with one another outdoors? Check out the latest blog post from our National Youth Director.
Youth News and Opportunities
Best Intern on Earth Selected: We have a winner. It was tough, but you helped us chose one outstanding applicant to spend the summer of a lifetime adventuring with the Sierra Club's youth programs and videoblogging along the way. This year's Outdoor Youth Ambassador will also be outfitted with $2,000 worth of gear from The North Face, some nifty Vibram Five Fingers footwear, and other cool stuff. Check out the winner!
Register for an Outdoor Nation Summer Summit Today: The Youth Summit is a 3-day event with 249 of your peers (give or take) so that we can find solutions to the challenges that are keeping people indoors. And, work with us on a project that you help design. YOU! You can be a summit delegate if (1) You really want to change the world so that everyone has the chance to GTFO (Get the Fun Outside); (2) You are between the ages of 18 and 28; and (3) Your application is chosen by our esteemed committee. Time is running out. Apply today - it is free!