President champions need to connect America’s children to their public lands

President Barack Obama spoke passionately about the importance of connecting America’s children to their public lands during his address at the 160th Anniversary of the Department of the Interior on March 3. The President told the group that America’s long-term prosperity depends upon the faithful stewardship of our natural resources, but that this trust cannot be measured in protected acres, preserved rivers or energy reserves.

“It's a child wandering amidst ancient redwoods, a love for science stirred as she looks skyward. It's a young man running his hand along the walls at Ellis Island, where his grandmother once carried her every possession and the hope of a new life. It's a family hiking along canyons carved by ancient floods, or mountains shaped by shifting continents -- finding peace in the beauty of the natural world. These are experiences that enrich our lives and remind us of the blessings that we share.”

The President fondly recounted memories of his own transformational childhood vacation to see America’s flagship national parks with his family. He described seeing our nation’s natural wonders as “an experience I will never forget. It's an experience I want for my daughters, and for all of our daughters and sons, to see the incredible beauty of this nation.”

To read a transcript or watch a video clip of the President’s moving speech, click here.