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!

Scott Smith
Hayward, Wisconsin
I moved from the Chicago area to northern Wisconsin three years ago. The difference in the two areas was startling to me. In the urban area there were parks and trails but they were islands of nature in an asphalt and grass jungle. Up here humans are islands of civilization in nature. We see wildlife as never before: a turtle laying her eggs by the side of the road, a juvenile eagle or osprey nesting high above, pileated woodpeckers hopping up the trunk of a tree, etc. Surely these are worth saving! There is development up here but it's compatible with nature, not trying to overcome it. What we pass down to our children is vital to the future of mankind.
Daphne T Stevens
This Sunday is green Sunday for our church. Our subject is plastic. Two of us are sharing the sermon. I am going to talk about the giant garbage patches in the ocean which are killing woldlife and more. We can't pick them up as they are constantly growing. I just read that 2.5% of all the worlds plastic has landed in the ocean. Our oceans are vital to the Earths health. I realize this isn't my backyard but I have been an ocean lover my entire life.
Susan Kilgore
White Rock Lake had been a natural beauty in the center of our metropolis until recently....while letting my rescued dogs run in the dog park next to the lake we saw a mass of trash and plastic bottles sloshing on the shoreline. This was a huge amount of trash and would take a big effort to clean. We haven't been back since. I'd like to know what I can do to help....the shore with the trash is inaccessible by foot and too big to just be picked up by hand. It was disgusting and heartbreaking to see.
Brad Snyder
Maple Grove
As a current Science Teacher and former Engineer I'm passionate about the three E's - Energy, Environment, and Education. The natural treasure in my local region that I love and feel strongly that it should be saved forever is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). A huge wilderness area that sits on the boundary between Minnesota and Canada. As a person who loves nature, canoeing, camping, fishing, etc. I couldn't ask for a better area!! But everyone loves it so much that it is the most heavily used wilderness area in the country!
Edith Coleman
All areas significant in our 1) country's history and 2) obligatory in preserving the ecology and wildlife require eternal maintenance. No ifs, ands, or buts. Anything less is detracting from our planet.
Cynthia Brouwers
Columbia, MD
dora haslett
Laxminarayana Paladi
Fostercity CA
For now I can only say that we need to plant more and mote trees, in every possible inch of land. Why should there not be a good tree plantation on either sides of the high way from Sacramento to Las angel-is?
Floyd Back
Mars Hill
It is better to install solar, wind, hydro on your home, than to contribute to these entrenched organizations and politicans.
Reita Troum
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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.