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Inspiring the Next Generation of Environmentalists Through Outdoor Experiences

The Connection Between Recreation & Protection

Spend enough time talking to any outdoor enthusiast and you will likely notice not only their love and enthusiasm for their favorite outdoor activity, be it camping, biking, kayaking, hiking, fishing, etc but their care for the environment as well

Many outdoorspeople are also avid environmentalists. For them, behaviors that reduce negative impacts on the environment, or make environmental conditions better, also known as pro-environmental behaviors, are part of their daily life and routines. 

What makes this connection happen? How can we encourage more pro-environmental behaviors? During a time when 1 million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction and human activities are a driving force behind many of today’s environmental issues (IEPBS), understanding the development and drive behind pro-environmental behaviors is a key to ensuring an inhabitable future on Earth for generations to come.


Pro-Environmental Behaviors Start Somewhere

Think back to a time when you felt inspired and in awe of the world around you, chances are that you were outside actively participating in a shared outdoor experience or activity with a friend, older sibling, parent, or mentor. 

Individuals develop an appreciation and care for the environment by spending time in nature as youths, by having impactful positive experiences in nature, and from adults identified as both important and influential in their lives (Chawla, L., Flanders, D., 2007)

Research has shown that participatory experiences play an important role in developing the attitudes, values, and beliefs of individuals which then later influences the choices that they make and behaviors they exhibit. In short, kids are more likely to want to protect our planet if they spend time connecting to the natural world with the people they love. 


We’re Growing the Next Generation of Environmentalists

Here at Venture Outdoors we build relationships with youth all over the city through Summer Camps, the Outdoor Learning Lab, afterschool programs, community events, and so much more. We’ve taught thousands of kids how to hike, bike, kayak, geocache, and fish in an environment filled with friends, mentors, and family. We are not only leading them on an activity, we’re working to inspire future generations of conservationists and environmentalists for whom pro-environmental behaviors will be a part of their daily lives.

Meet Ariella Weiner

Ariella is an outdoor educator with Venture Outdoors. Her experiences diving, working as a scuba instructor and traveling influenced her care for the marine environment leading to her pursuit of an undergraduate degree in Biology. Work during her undergraduate studies focused on marine science, invasive species, and marine ecology. Post undergrad, Ariella was an aquarist at a public aquarium for 10 years where she provided care for sharks, corals and Indo Pacific reef fish. “Participatory Experiences as Bridges for Pro-environmental Behavior” was the focus of the work that Ariella did while earning a Masters of Biology from Miami University. She’s passionate about the connection between positive outdoor experiences and making choices that benefit the planet.

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