Working Together to Promote the Great Outdoors
Every year, the National Wildlife Federation engages thousands of people in wildlife conservation and outdoor experiences with the help of partners from across the country. One of these partners, the Disney Conservation Fund, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, shares NWF’s mission to improve conditions for key wildlife species and connect people to nature.
Since its establishment, the Fund has invested over $40 million in wildlife conservation and programs that promote going outdoors and enjoying nature. The Fund has recently helped two key NWF programs: the Great American Campout and Butterfly Heroes.
The Disney Conservation Fund was the original sponsor of our Butterfly Heroes challenge in 2015, and has helped us to grow it further in 2016 to bring awareness to the declining monarch butterfly population and connect gardeners, kids and families alike to help pollinators.
Butterfly Heroes gives those that take the pledge native plant seeds to create their own gardens for monarchs and other pollinator species. This new habitat created for monarch butterflies provides a place for them to rest their wings and lay their eggs during their migration. Butterfly Heroes is a part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife program, which helps new and seasoned gardeners alike learn how to create and maintain sustainable habitats.
Last year, as a result of the pledges of more than 42,000 Butterfly Heroes, thousands of new monarch gardens with native milkweed and nectar plants were planted for these important pollinators. Take the 2016 pledge and make this year a great one for monarchs!
Over the past several years, the National Wildlife Federation has also teamed up with the Disney Conservation Fund to encourage friends of wildlife across the nation to participate in the Great American Campout. This summer-long celebration of camping is a way for people to connect with nature and wildlife.
Immersing yourself in nature through activities such as camping is a proven way to help foster a lasting affinity and caring for the natural world. The body, mind, and spirit benefits from outdoor play are well-documented and numerous. The Great American Campout has helped more than 1 million people to get outdoors and experience a traditional outdoor experience. Last year, campers at over 12,000 locations nationwide participated in the Campout – camping in various places including the woods, parks, beaches, and even in their own backyards.
These programs work in concert with the Fund’s new initiative, called Reverse the Decline – Increase the Time, that works to reverse the decline of key wildlife species and increase the time young people spend outdoors in nature. If we to do our part to protect wildlife and experience nature in our daily lives, together we can achieve these ambitious goals.