June 18, 2018
The Honorable Robert Hertzberg, Chair Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee State Capitol Building Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 2614 (Carrillo) – SUPPORT: Outdoor Experiences: Disadvantaged Youth
On behalf of the above signatories, we are writing to respectfully urge your favorable consideration of the above referenced bill when it is heard before your committee. This bill calls for the creation of a grant program housed within the California Natural Resources Agency to promote innovative transportation projects seeking to transport disadvantage youth to wilderness and nature experiences. This bill is critical for the following reasons:
- According to the Outdoor Foundation, youth participation rates in the outdoors and outdoor activities over the past ten years have declined or remained flat. Ease of access continues to be a barrier.
- Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) as cited by Richard Louv in his book, “Last Child in the Woods,” has contributed to behavioral patterns such as depression and societal alienation and has also been linked to obesity. Reinvesting in reliable and available transportation amenities to shuttle disadvantaged youth to heretofore unrealized or under-experienced outdoor opportunities will help to stem the tide of NDD.
- California has and will continue to invest in outdoor space infrastructure to serve changing and emerging demographics and children that lack access to quality open-space experiences (See Proposition 68). Often these spaces are underutilized or unrealized by disadvantaged youth due to transportation difficulties.
Acculturating our youth with positive and meaningful outdoor engagement will promote an appreciation for nature and amass stewards among out future generations to protect and preserve our public lands and the environment. If you have any questions, please contact Doug Houston at 916-447-9884.
Pilar Alcivar-McCoy Legislative Chair California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS)
Cailin O’Brien-Feeney State and Local Policy Manager Outdoor Industry Association
Rico Mastrodonato Senior Government Relations Manager The Trust for Public Land
Kenji Haroutunian Director California Outdoor Recreation Partners
Austin McInerny President National Interscholastic Cycling Association
Matthew McClain Executive Director Mammoth Lakes Recreation
Steve Barker Founder Wild Places
Andrea Mackenzie General Manager Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority
Kevin Tatsugawa, PhD Associate Professor Wilderness Leadership Program Coordinator Movement Science Sport & Leisure Studies Westfield State University
Rue Mapp Founder & CEO Outdoor Afro
Robert E. Doyle General Manager East Bay Regional Park District
Steve Frisch President Sierra Business Council
Erin Tarr Co-Executive Director Bear Yuba Land Trust
Kay Ogden Executive Director Eastern Sierra Land Trust
Jeff Darlington Executive Director Placer Land Trust
Bridget Fithian Executive Director Sierra Foothill Conservancy
Perry Norris Executive Director Truckee Donner Land Trust
Jenny Hatch Executive Director Sierra Nevada Alliance