This article offers an insightful summary on the importance of outdoor opportunities for inner city kids and minority groups. This is what we do at Elevate Youth. There is more to engaging in the outdoors than health benefits and social-emotional development; the programs that Elevate Youth designs and runs also encourage meaningful relationships with nature and teach environmental responsibility. The lack of connection with nature that many underserved youth and minorities have, paired with a growing minority and city population, will hinder our society’s ability to protect the environment in the future.
“The Census Bureau projects that by 2044 the majority of the US population will be non-white.” With growing minority populations, and more people living in the city, the majority of the United States will soon have no relationship with nature. James Edward Mills, author of The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors, writes: “We can speculate that if too few people in our country care about the environment, voters will ultimately fail to enact legislation, allocate state and federal funding and elect officials with a vested interest in protecting it.” This is one outcome that Elevate Youth is determined to prevent.