Founded in 1908, the NGA is comprised of the governors from our 55 states, territories and commonwealths. Joined by Jenny Rowland, a Senior Policy Analyst for the Center for American Progress, Edberg’s 45-minute session to governors’ staff and outdoor recreation advisors explored several policy approaches outlined in “The Nature Gap” report to ensure the benefits of nature extend to all people, including goal setting, coalition building, and allocating funding towards enhancing equity.
“Right now, as Latinos and other communities of color are suffering from COVID-19, this report highlights how they are also missing out on the health, economic, and resilience benefits of having nature nearby,” said Shanna Edberg, HAF Director of Conservation. “We must take the findings of the report as a call to action to protect and restore our natural areas in an inclusive and equitable way, ensuring that they are close, accessible, and welcome to all.”
The annual meeting discusses how states can advance outdoor recreation issues including economic recovery from COVID-19, developing partnerships to leverage limited public dollars, accessing federal economic development grants, promoting equal access to nature, and using data to support public investments. As states continue to expand their outdoor recreation grant programs and revise Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plans, they have the opportunity to increase emphasis on equitable access to connect all citizens to natural resources.
Read the report: “The Nature Gap: Confronting Racial and Economic Disparities in the Destruction and Protection of Nature in America” by Jenny Rowland-Shea, Sahir Doshi, Shanna Edberg, and Robert Fanger.