Thursday, October 16, 2014

Today is Blog Action Day!

Each year, the folks at Blog Action Day pick a theme for everyone to blog about on October 16. This year we are discussing #inequality for #BAD2014 .

How does this relate to Camp Bayou? Or environmental education? Or natural resources?

One of the things that is clear from volunteering at Camp Bayou is that the notion that Caucasians are the overwhelming majority of visitors to natural spaces is probably true. But is the smaller percentage of minorities a result of #inequality due to economics?  Access issues? Culture?

We have had school groups from nearly the full spectrum of possibilities. Inner city, homeschool, private, religious, and public schools. There are few truly rural schools that visit since there is not much 'rural' left in west-central Florida.

The main barrier is usually transportation and its associated costs. Some schools get grants to pay for trips, some carpool, some charter luxury buses. We currently have a scholarship program to help school groups who otherwise could not afford the $5 per student for our programs. The scholarship is in memory of Joanie, a teacher who loved to take her students out into the natural world.

The benefits of being outdoors are being well documented. It is important that everyone, everywhere, has the opportunity to experience the natural world in all its glory.

This Saturday is our Fall Open House. Admission is free. There will be a lot of fun and educational activities to enjoy from 9am to 1pm in the great outdoors. We hope you'll join us!

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