The Government Shutdown Puts D.C.’s Environmental Education on Hold

Closed: National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
Closed: National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden (Photo credit: Mollie Simon)
When I moved to D.C. two weeks ago, I brought with me a pretty large to-do list. Unfortunately, almost as soon as I got here, that was all put on hold. With the government shutdown in full force, the Smithsonian Museums and National Parks are all closed, prohibiting millions of people from accessing all the wonderful environmental education that D.C. has to offer.

Environmental education is the cornerstone for developing a new generation of conservationists. Increased public awareness about environmental issues and wildlife is critically important in protecting our natural resources. With today’s generation being continually more engrossed with computer screens, it is important to have readily available outlets in nature such as National Parks. Whether it is a museum or a national park, these resources get the public interested and excited about nature. Environmental education helps to foster awareness and enthusiasm for the wildlife.

Then there’s this:

Closed: The National Zoo (Photo Credit: Ryan Kingston)

Environmental Education in D.C.

D.C. offers a variety of great environmental education opportunities. From camps and classes to internships, the Smithsonian National Zoo offers chances for environmentalists of all ages to learn about the importance of animals and wildlife. The Museum of Natural History offers IMAX films, live tarantula feedings and butterfly walks and The Botanic Gardens has tours and demonstrations that illustrate just how cool plant life can be. There is no end to the educational experiences you can have in D.C.

The government shutdown affects everyone from wildlife to government employees. As long as the government is shutdown, millions of kids (and curious adults!) are barred from the great environmental education that D.C. has to offer.

What is the image that shows your shutdown story and how is it affecting you, your livelihood, your community? Post your image through your favorite social media platform using #shutdown and post it back here in comments, with a link to your image.

Take Action ButtonTell your member of Congress that they need to pass a funding bill so that environmental education, the National Parks Service, and many other vital services can continue.