Finding balance in our busy lives is often a challenge. Prying the remote, iPod, Nintendo DS or other gadgets out of our children's hands is even harder! That's why I am inviting everyone who can, to attend this Saturday's 'Listening Session' on the President's Great Outdoors Initiative.

This is an incredible opportunity to talk directly to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and other top administration officials about the ways our communities are using outdoor spaces and how our Federal Government can better partner to reconnect people—especially children-- to the outdoors.

Farming, community gardens, neighborhood parks, camping—what gets you and your family outside and why is this important? What are barriers to getting outdoors? What are outdoor projects that engage our history and culture? How can we advance job and volunteer opportunities related to the outdoors? Those are the questions we need YOU to answer.

There are two sessions—one for youth and the other for the general public (youth are encouraged to stay and participate!)

Saturday, July 17, 2010
10:00am-11:30am Youth Session
1:30-4:00pm General Session

Albuquerque’s Pyramid Marriott
5151 San Francisco Road Northeast
Listening Session Info

Come tell President Obama’s team about successful local conservation projects and help us make sure that diverse New Mexico perspectives are represented. They need to hear from you!

Views: 16

Comment by Alicia Lueras Maldonado on July 15, 2010 at 11:20am
Comment by Benny the Icepick on July 15, 2010 at 12:18pm
Yeah, but do they have WiFi?
Comment by John Johnson on July 15, 2010 at 1:55pm
Oh Boy. More "help" from the feds.

I'm perfectly capable of walking outside myself thank you.
Comment by Barelas Babe on July 15, 2010 at 3:11pm
@JJ - you may be perfectly capable, but not everyone is in your position.

Here's one perspective: It wasn't until I broke my ankle at the start of the summer that I realized just how inaccessible some spaces are. The ADA is almost 20 years old, but despite the regulations in place, there are still barriers to accessibility - and not just mobility-related. Shouldn't people with disabilities also reap the benefit of these federally funded spaces? Unfortunately, federally mandated accessibility is still an afterthought and not always part of the planning process in too many places.

I value having the opportunity to voice this in an open forum (and not just file DOJ complaints).
Comment by John Johnson on July 15, 2010 at 4:36pm
Sounds like a local compliance problem to me.
Comment by Barelas Babe on July 15, 2010 at 4:52pm
Were it that simple. Unfortunately accessibility compliance is a systemic national problem (and not just DOI and D of Ag lands).
Comment by shotsie on July 15, 2010 at 5:40pm
I think this has to do with introducing kids to the great outdoors on a regular basis more than some ADA thing. Things like camping, hiking and helping out on a real working ranch or farm would be activities that come to mind. We used to take inner city kids camping for a couple of weeks during the summer at the camp I worked at.
Comment by Barelas Babe on July 15, 2010 at 5:53pm
True, Shotsie. But the fact is, there are kids and young adults with disabilities who face the barriers of access to the great outdoors (and not just kids with mobility issues). Since that's the population I work with, I figure I may as well speak up for them.

Stepping off my soapbox until Saturday...
Comment by Alicia Lueras Maldonado on July 15, 2010 at 10:45pm
hey thanks for the comments. i can tell you that just having finished teaching a photography class at Truman Middle School on the Westside there are certainly not enough open spaces and outdoor places for young people, or anyone for that matter, to go. it is house upon house and traffic everywhere! we took a walking tour around the neighborhood to photograph the community and chatting with the kids, many of them don't get out of their community too often. we need to make more opportunities available to these youth.
Comment by John Johnson on July 16, 2010 at 9:12am
Parenting anyone?


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