State Parks: Ambassadors

State Park Youth Ambassadors, image from America's State Parks

State Park Youth Ambassadors, image from America’s State Parks

This is Passport to Texas

If you’re of a certain age, when you were growing up, the outdoors was your primary source of entertainment, and probably continues to play a role in your quality of life.

20— A decade back or so, we did a visitation study to get a sense of who are our most common visitors. What we found was a 48 year old couple with no children was the average visitor. In the years since, we saw that number go to 49 year olds. And that showed us that we were missing out on some our younger generations, including kids and young adults.

Today, young people occupy themselves with electronic gadgetry, which keeps them willing captives indoors. Ky Harkey is the outdoor education and outreach coordinator for state parks.

19— We want to make sure that we have a new generation that’s going to be stewards to the parks. [We want them to] get out and enjoy the parks. The younger generation today, is the next generation that will be raising kids, and they will have the choice to either take the kids to Texas State Parks or not. We want to make sure that the parks are on the radar of the younger generations already.

State parks developed an outreach program whereby it recruits young people currently engaged in the outdoors, and asks them to invite their peers to join in.

08— The millennial generation, I you will – roughly 16 to 28 year olds or so – is a particular focus for us. Trying to bring that audience into parks.

Ky Harkey returns tomorrow to tell us about the Texas State Park Ambassador program.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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