The Nature Conservancy has released a new nationwide poll that reveals America’s youth is unhappy with the condition of the environment, and lack faith in adults to address it. The findings also show strong evidence that more time spent in nature directly correlates with a commitment to protect it.
Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) agree that “previous generations have damaged our environment and left it to our generation to fix it.” Only one-third of youth believe that government leaders are doing a “good job addressing major problems facing our country.”
The research confirmed that youth are not spending a great deal of time outdoors.
“This research is a wake-up call for parents, leaders and the conservation community,” said Mark Tercek, Nature Conservancy president and CEO. “Today’s youth do not believe we are doing enough to address the mounting challenges facing the environment. It is critical that we take more proactive steps to protect our lands and waters for younger generations and engage them in efforts to carry the environmental movement forward.”
The research was conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (D) and Public Opinion Strategies (R) and funding was provided by The Toyota USA Foundation and The Foundation for Youth Investment.
"Today's youth are going to be the innovators of new solutions to ensure a sustainable future, and we are proud to support this critical research by The Nature Conservancy to illuminate how youth across the nation value nature in a rapidly changing world, "said Pat Pineda, group vice president of philanthropy at Toyota Motor North America.
"The Foundation for Youth Investment (FYI) was proud to sponsor this research that sheds light on why our youth are spending less time outdoors,” said Steve Hagler, executive director of the Foundation for Youth Investment. “Unlike previous generations where parents simply said, ‘Go outside and play!’ kids today need more encouragement, and we must give them the opportunity by providing outdoor programs and safe open spaces and parks.”
To learn more about the poll and The Nature Conservancy’s work to engage youth with nature, visit nature.org/youthpoll.
Methodology: From July 28 to August 4, 2011, FM3 and POS completed 602 on-line interviews with American youth between the ages of 13 and 18. Quotas were established to ensure representativeness of the sample by age, gender, geography, and race.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.