We need good leaders, now more than ever.
This #GivingTuesday, we give thanks to the future leaders helping us care for our public lands and advocate for the protection and enhancement of our mountains, forests, rivers, parks, and urban open spaces.
Now is the time to lead, and to take a stand. Our public lands are being threatened — including our beloved San Gabriel Mountains National Monument — by a federal administration that has no regard for protecting our environment or serving our communities.
On this #GivingTuesday, you can take a stand with us and support our Leadership Development program to find, educate, develop and encourage a new generation of environmental stewards to carry on our work.
Earlier this month, we celebrated the 12th graduating class of our Leadership Academy at a newly created urban park, the Los Angeles State Historic Park. The six-month training program focuses on developing outreach and advocacy skills, civic engagement, and local community action, and it was inspiring to look around and see faces of local citizens ready to rise up and resist — to defend our public lands and demand justice for our underserved communities.
It was also inspiring to see previous graduates in the audience, including Meg Devine, who developed the Convert-A-Can project in the program several years ago and continues with running it today. The program enlists volunteers to turn trash bins into art installations, to curb graffiti and beautify our public spaces. Meg is among 121 Leadership Academy graduates have worked on projects to enhance and improve our public lands; provide access to nature for kids and families living in park-poor communities; clean our trails, rivers and streams; and educate students about environmental justice and the public health benefits of spending time in nature.
In addition to the academy, our Leadership program supports 100+ volunteers and dozens of super-volunteers activists working with us on community engagement projects. We are grateful for these volunteers and inspired by them. You can be, too. We can do this together.
With your support, we can continue to grow our Leadership program and work to protect the mountains and rivers in our area, to conserve resources and be more climate-resilient. We can continue to create more natural spaces, such as parks and bike paths, in our historically underserved neighborhoods. We can continue to connect people to public lands through more trails and other outdoor recreational opportunities, to improve public health.
With your help, we can find and support the leaders we need to ensure that everyone in the Los Angeles area — no matter where they live—has equitable access to the wide range of benefits that nature can provide.
Thank you for giving.