Carrera Speaks at White House Listening Tour

Baltimore, MD (June 25, 2010)- Parks and People Foundation President & CEO Jackie Carrera was a featured panelist at a recent listening tour organized by the White House in Annapolis. Carrera’s comments centered on the importance of local parks and green space in urban communities.

“Another idea is to reconceptualize what we mean when we talk about America’s Great Outdoors. Are we talking about Yellowstone, Glacier, Acadia? Or are we talking about a system of parks, recreational and open space that connects us to these places by weaving their way through the lives of everyday Americans,” said Carrera.

America’s Great Outdoors, the President’s initiative to draft the nation’s 21st century conservation agenda, is being led by the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency, White House Council on Environmental Quality and departments of Agriculture and Interior. Obama is to receive a report by Nov. 15 outlining an action plan to both reconnect Americans to nature and enhance conservation efforts.

ACT members are encouraged to participate in a listening tour and to highlight the value of urban forests as a key issue of national importance. Together, ACT member groups are asking for greater recognition for:

* the role of tree canopy as vital to a city’s future
* the value of urban green infrastructure for solving pressing water quality issues, reducing energy consumption, and promoting air quality
* the potential for green city forestry jobs, if infrastructure investments are redirected from grey to green approaches
* the public health and social benefits of sustainable city design, which includes trees, walkable neighborhoods, parks, and trail systems
* a call for significant increased investment in existing U.S. Forest Service research and assistance programs for Urban and Community Forestry.

ACT represented its membership at the America’s Great Outdoors Conference this spring, where President Barack Obama personally launched the initiative.

Related Resources:
Jackie Carrera Speaks at White House Listening Tour
ACT Invited to White House Conference
America’s Great Outdoors Listening Tour Schedule
Submit Your Written Comments to America’s Great Outdoors