Dear environmental and outdoor education community,
We hope you and your families are safe. With more than 550 fires burning throughout the state of California, and air quality forcing us inside when we wish to seek solace in the natural world, the challenges can feel overwhelming. Our hearts are heavy as we see images of treasured forests burning, learn about lives and homes lost, and hear about historic parks and landmarks being destroyed by the blazes. We know that many of your program sites are near or in direct danger and we are watching closely and hoping for your safety.
Climate change has been named publicly in most leading news sources as a primary cause in the current devastation. We are reminded that our work as environmental and outdoor educators is vital. And our community is more important than ever.
We are grateful for you, our network of dedicated educators and program providers across the state. While many of us will not be returning to programming as usual this fall, we know you are still working to help young people connect to the natural world in whatever you can, whether that be through delivering virtual programs, offering small family programs, or as classroom teachers doing your best to support your students through a screen. Know that we continue to advocate for outdoor learning as part of the plan to reopen schools, and are here for you to provide support. Please reach out if there are ways we can help you or your organizations.
Your friends at AEOE