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America's Great Outdoors Initiative: Listening session today

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This evening is your chance to speak your piece on the broad questions of nature, the outdoors and our involvement in it (especially by youth) at a major meeting at the Field Museum.

Here are the details:

IDNR, Chicago Wilderness, City of Chicago Department of Environment, Openlands, Chicago Park District and The Field Museum to Host Forum on Parks, Open Space and Nature

August 30th session will let Federal officials hear ideas from the public on open space, recreation, conservation, and ways to link children and adults with nature and the outdoors.

CHICAGO, IL - The public is invited to participate in a dialog with federal officials at 5:30 p.m. on August 30 in the Field Museum's Simpson Theater to inform the Obama Administration's development of an enduring 21st century conservation agenda. Community representatives will join a public forum hosted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Chicago Wilderness alliance, the City of Chicago Department of Environment, Openlands, Chicago Park District and The Field Museum. The focus will be to help federal officials better understand the success stories and challenges in local conservation efforts and what role the federal government can play in conserving our natural resources for the benefit of people and nature.

"This is a great opportunity to help Washington understand the important work that's being done here in Illinois through conservation partnerships and opportunities that will shape the lives of both children and adults for generations to come," said IDNR Director Marc Miller.

"These sessions are critical opportunities for the people of this region to make their voices heard," adds Melinda Pruett-Jones, Executive Director of the Chicago Wilderness alliance. "This is our chance to contribute to our children's future quality of life by ensuring their continued access to nature and all the benefits that healthy natural systems provide."

In April at the White House Conference on America's Great Outdoors, President Obama signed a memorandum establishing the America's Great Outdoors Initiative to develop a conservation agenda worthy of the 21st century. President Obama directed the principal leaders of the initiative to travel across the country to listen and learn from people directly involved in finding grassroots solutions to reconnect Americans to the outdoors.

This forum is an opportunity for the public to share ideas with Amelia Salzman, Associate Director for Policy Outreach, White House Council on Environmental Quality; Will Shafroth, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Department of the Interior; and other federal officials on the four questions guiding the America's Great Outdoors initiative:

• What obstacles exist to conservation, recreation, or reconnecting people to the outdoors?

• What are the most effective strategies for conservation, recreation and reconnecting people to the outdoors?

• How can the federal government be a more effective partner in helping to achieve conservation, recreation or reconnecting people to the outdoors?

• What additional tools and resources would help make these efforts even more successful?

Participants will have the opportunity to submit brief verbal or written comments and suggestions on any of the four questions during the session. Those who cannot attend can learn more about the AGO and join the online conversation at

Information for the Monday forum is below:

MONDAY AUGUST 30, 5:30 p.m. (Registration begins at 4:30)
The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
Simpson Theater (entry through West door)

There is no cost to attend this event.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on August 29, 2010 6:42 AM.

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