The National Wildlife Federation Helping Families through the COVID-19 Outbreak
Here at the National Wildlife Federation, we’re adjusting to the new realities and school closures — I’m actually trying to write this with my 2-year old Alana hanging on my arm! — and, though it’s not easy, we are taking every step possible to keep our staff safe and flatten the curve, because it is absolutely the right thing to do.
As the largest provider of environmental educational programming in the United States, the National Wildlife Federation is working hard to help families and caregivers across the country provide meaningful educational opportunities and safe outdoor experiences for children during these incredibly difficult times. We are providing free access to the National Wildlife Federation’s award-winning educational materials and programs with the hopes of bringing joy and educational enrichment to millions more children in the weeks ahead.
We believe that connecting children with the wonders of wildlife — online and safely outdoors — can help youth thrive during these unprecedented times. So in addition to providing free access to our educational materials, we are also encouraging the safe and responsible enjoyment of the great outdoors by practicing six-feet of physical distancing (especially in parking lots and trailheads), regular hand-washing, and avoidance of common outdoor surfaces.
Here are a few resources to help inspire young people with the wonders of wildlife and nature:
- Free Ranger Rick Digital magazines and content:
- Free access to the digital editions, activities, and resources of Ranger Rick are available through June.
- Parents working to educate and entertain their children while schools are closed also can access the monthly Ranger Rick Educator’s Guides and Ranger Rick Jr. Parent Reading Guides.
- Free Eco-Schools Curricula and Program:
- Free access the full array of curricula, activities, and projects for the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools Program.
- The National Wildlife Federation’s 4th annual EcoCareers Conference will be held online April 1-2. The virtual conference will connect students and young professionals with wildlife and sustainability careers, educate attendees about related credentials and academic offerings, and inform them about trends in these emerging and exciting fields.
- Free Garden for Wildlife Tips:
- Want more information? Download the National Wildlife Federation’s new Nature Guides to learn more about the wildlife and plants you encounter on your hikes and outdoors adventures.
Even though we’re all working remotely, we’re also continuing to advocate for wildlife with the help of millions of members all across the country. We’re working in Congress to ensure that the various recovery packages, especially infrastructure investments, help restore our natural resources, reduce pollution, and improve community resilience. We’re also working with members to pass the Great American Outdoors Act and the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. We’re also pushing back on the Administration’s efforts to reduce protections under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, limit the role of sound science in decision-making, and other imprudent activities — at a time when federal agencies should be focused on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Providing online educational materials and advocating remotely are just two small ways that the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping the way the National Wildlife Federation conducts its work. We are taking our responsibilities to the public and our staff incredibly seriously even as we work to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world. We have closed all of our national and regional offices during the COVID-19 outbreak and asked all staff to telecommute until at least May 4. We have also suspended all in-person meetings and attendance at meetings convened by other organizations.
Here are the other formal steps the National Wildlife Federation is taking:
- All domestic and international business travel has been suspended
- All March and April 2020 meetings have been postponed or canceled
- Meetings in May and June are being assessed for postponement or cancellation
- The organization is helping members and activists advocate virtually
- National Wildlife Magazine, Ranger Rick, and the National Wildlife Federation’s other magazines will continue to publish on a regular calendar.
The threats posed by COVID-19 are unlike anything we’ve seen or experienced in our lifetimes. That’s why the National Wildlife Federation has taken extraordinary steps to not only protect our employees, but also to help connect families with the resources that will help inspire children to love the wonders of wildlife during this difficult time.
We’re all in this together and we’ll be with you every step of the way.