Whose nature? Colorado leads push to democratize the outdoors

From the Christian Science Monitor:

In theory, public spaces belong to everyone. But in reality, many low-income and minority children grow up feeling like nature is not a place for them. Colorado is on the forefront of a movement to lift barriers to nature and to help all children experience the peace that comes from spending time outdoors.

“All children deserve nature and the outdoors. It’s a right, like clean air or clean water,” says Lise Aangeenbrug, who helped develop the $29 million Inspire Initiative when she was director of Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), a lottery-funded organization that has provided most of the funding. She cites numerous studies that link a connection with nature to physical and mental health, academics, civic engagement, and quality of life. “And if you’re from an organization that cares about conservation, you have to care about this. These kids are tomorrow’s voters, and conservation is only as permanent as tomorrow’s vote.”