Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado © Chris Helzer

Real People, Real Stories

Every day across the country, courageous people are speaking out for the natural world to protect their families, their communities and their livelihoods. Read real stories about how everyday people are using their outside voices to make a difference – then join our cause.

“There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country.” –Theodore Roosevelt, 1912

“I use my outside voice because if we can increase the amount of green space, nature has a better chance of thriving.”
Seventh Grader - Pennsylvania
“I use my outside voice any chance to evoke action, transform attitudes, and spur real change.”
Ohio State University Graduate - Clintonville, Ohio
“I use my outside voice because living in this unique valley is totally natural and amazing with all it has to offer!”
North East, Pennsylvania
“It’s my duty to speak out and share my experiences and hopefully my story can make a difference.”
Volunteer TIS Support - TNC in Missouri
“It’s important to speak about what you believe in.”
Community-college science professor and bird-watcher - Adirondacks, New York
“People are looking for places that retain a sense of character.”
Former Mayor of Palm Desert, California - Palm Valley, California
“We are profoundly connected to nature whether we know it or not.”
Student, Rice University - Houston, Texas
“Speak up for the importance of traditional lands.”
Native Hawaiian - Kahuku Ranch, Hawaii
“Everyone should use their voices, their bodies, their minds to take action on behalf of nature.”
Member of Team Nature and new father - Long Island, NY
“Learn about issues like where your drinking water comes from.”
Environmental science teacher - Danville, Pennsylvania
“Support all types of life – not just animals, not just land, but everything in between.”
Student - East Hartford, Connecticut
“Someone has to speak for future generations.”
Water district manager, father and hunter - Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee
“If you abuse the land, it’s not going to be here for the next generation.”
Retired farmer, county judge and avid boater - Crittenden County, Kentucky
“Take a hike with your friends or family – show them what inspires you.”
Restoration enthusiast - Boyds, Maryland
“Sometimes, conservation awareness can be raised simply by speaking up.”
New York City LEAF Intern - Queens, New York
“Sometimes the things that are most important are the things we take for granted.”
New York City LEAF Alumnus - Poughkeepsie, New York

Your Stories

Everyone has a story to tell. How are changes in your local wildernesses, parks and special places affecting you and your community? What special places do you think should be saved forever? What natural treasures do you value in your own community and want to pass on to the next generation? Share your story -- speak up for nature to help save the places we love!

Uriya Jurik
Leiden
I am from Kazakhstan, currently living in The Netherlands. We are searching for support of International community to protect National Park Kok Zhailau from a ski resort construction which can not only seriously affect already life threatening ecological and environmental situation but will also cost billions out of our city budget that can not even support some basic needs of citizens. At the same time, the authorities totally ignore our people's opinion to stop the project which seriously violates humane rights. More details are here:http://ejatlas.org/conflict/protect-kok-zhailau-ile-alatau-state-national-nature-park-kazakhstan Any (informational, organisational, press, ideas, etc.) support to protect beautiful nature next to my home city Almaty will be highly appreciated. Kind regards, Uriya Jurik
Tilly Pick
Manchester-by-the-Sea
Anju Kandru
San Ramon
Love Nature and Save the Trees !Saving the Trees is protecting the Natural habitat. Trees are the most valuable natural resources and crucial to our environmental system. They play a vital role in the ecosystem by helping bring rains and providing clean air!Chopping down trees not only effects the nature but also the habitats of nature-the animals,insects & plants that live in nature.Trees have a positive effect both physically and mentally as humans are directly dependent on nature and forests at all levels. Help plant Trees and save lives.Trees are our best friends.Increase awareness among next generations and encourage kids to take projects on plating trees! “The nature of our future depends on the future of our nature”.
Diana Langie
Deerfield
During the past 10 years, I have watched property values in my hometown skyrocket and my neighborhood has become rather affluent, still climbing to the top of economic social strata. Large homes have become popular. Unfortunately, large construction equipment requires space to maneuver, resulting in the tragic rapid deforestation of my Tree City. Lake County has been one of the best preserved suburban residence areas in terms of ecological conservation, but lost habitat needs to be restored. I want my neighbors to see how breathtakingly the environment is enhanced by allowing a close coexistence of nature and residential neighborhood. We have deer, possums, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, all original native songbird species, hawks, eagles, foxes, voles, toads, frogs, native minnows, butterflies, owls, rabbits, hummingbirds, bats, coyotes and, amazingly, in 2014 a wolf was sighted in a public lands protected forest! I have grown up with this wildlife and plenty of space remains in the luxuriously large gardens, lawns, forests, and ponds (some natural, some manmade) for continued cohabitation of humans and wildlife in an artfully landscaped natural setting. My hometown now demands luxury, and I want everyone to realize what an amazing luxury it is to have a pair of red foxes stroll through the estate, a respectful and safe distance from children and pets, during a garden party on the grand patio. I cannot let this wonderful human-wildlife suburban habitat paradise slip away any more than it has, but how can I spread the word and really motivate people to invest in their environment?
Hendricka Samytowski
perth, west Australia
My biggest concern is our government doesnt care about the great barrier reef. Prime minister Abbott doesnt believe in climate change and as the water gets warmer the coral is being bleached or dying.
Alyssa Jensen
Fort Lauderdale
Alyssa Jensen
Fort Lauderdale
I am an environmental activist and animal lover! :-P Especially at home! Clean water, parks, trails, and the preservation of all nature means the world to me! I try to do as much as I can to help and spread awareness. This is our world and we have to take care of it!
Zoie Moyer
Orefield
"If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything" –Alan Watts My story is this: I had nothing I was ever passionate about or really wanted to learn about. Then one day I realized that was because I never ventured outside of the walls of my own head. Then I went on a Europe trip with my school to places like Berlin, Cologne, Honfleur, Normandy, and Belgium. The streets and cities there were so much cleaner and they readily incorporated nature into their everyday lives. I want this for where I live and for where everyone lives. I want people to realize that everything is connected. That when they throw that water bottle out their car window they allow it to take on a destructive and never ending life of its own. I don’t want people to just shrug their shoulders at the thought of an area of forest the size of a soccer field being destroyed every two seconds. I want people to realize that plants really are our friends. We should learn to invite the ones we can into our homes and learn to be kind to all kinds, not just mankind. I want people to realize separation is an illusion and that nature and humans are a part of the same cycle. In the future when I have kids I want them to be able to experience nature firsthand instead of from a picture book because so and so is extinct now. I am passionate about helping nature and I refuse to let ignorance stand in the way of that.
Terry Clark
Gainesville
Jane Schnee
Sebastian, FL
Florida's only endemic bird, the Florida Scrub-Jay has declined 90% in the last 60 years. They only exist in Florida "scrub" habitat. Most of this habitat now has houses, roads, shopping centers, golf courses on it. The little remaining scrub habitat should be saved for not only the Florida Scrub-Jays but for other scrub flora and fauna that only exist in Florida scrub. Some scrub land has been set aside but now government agencies are out of money to restore and maintain the habit which requires elimination of invasive plants and prescribed burns. We must not let more of our threatened and endangered species go extinct. I actually purchased 10.6 acres of scrub to save it 3 years ago because our governments were out of money to buy it and I felt it was important to save this endangered habitat wherever we can.
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Sign the Pledge

I know that investing in conservation is the only way we can help keep America beautiful, strong, prosperous and healthy. I am proud to join a community of people who speak up for nature to help save the places we love.