U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
BLM & partners build collaborative education strategy
BLM-Alaska currently provides environmental education/interpretation/youth engagement programs to the public through the Campbell Creek Science Center, Arctic Interagency Visitor Center, Glennallen Field Office, and Anchorage Field Office.
The Alaska Leadership Team discussed the decreased funding for those programs and how other agencies are facing similar situations. They decided to explore ways to maintain the current level of programs and increase BLM presence in rural communities through partnership opportunities with other federal and state agencies and NGOs with resource conservation/management missions.
A team was assembled to develop a statewide education/interpretation/youth engagement strategy. This would involve partner input and incorporate the current programs offered by BLM-Alaska, continue current partnerships, and create new partnerships to increase capacity for BLM-Alaska and their partners.
The team met internally to identify current programs offered, ways to expand certain programs statewide through support of the CCSC, current and possible partners, and mutual goals/objectives.
BLM-Alaska and its education partners from around the state met on March 12 to explore partnership opportunities in the education/interpretation/youth engagement arenas. The partner outreach meeting was held at the Anchorage District Office, with BLM field offices and partners in Fairbanks and Glennallen participating via videoconference.
While this effort began several months ago, BLM and its partners view sequestration as an added incentive to pool resources and build on one another’s successes. Both private and public sector partners agreed the bite of budget cuts will mean working together as never before to bring youth into the outdoors, promote stewardship, and engage youth in the natural sciences.
The March 12 meeting included representatives from the Anchorage School District, Anchorage Park Foundation, Student Conservation Association, Chugach National Forest, Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Friends of the BLM Campbell Creek Science Center, Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance, and others.
BLM-Alaska is hosting the effort as a way to advance its environmental education/interpretation/youth engagement strategy. A key part of this strategy is to