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!

Bonnie Hughes
I moved to Scttsdale AZ 25 years ago--amidst Suagaro Cactus that were there for over 200 years. I haved lived in many places-with wonderous environments-but til I came to this place-had never experienced such a dramatic place-that required a specific environment-to thrive. I feel a commitment to this place-keeping it safe for future generations..but the signs are back-changes to the Scottsdale Development Board-what does it mean clean cutting of the land for housing-in which not an animal, or bird or anything can live--as they all require one another. The sauargo is the testament to this special place-the bird in the cage-for without the environment for new sensitive seeds to thrive-there will be no more. I will do-support-work for-whatever it takes-and with the Nature Conservancy and others go forward.
Susan Haug
resnik resnik
Tammy Nogles
My story is simple, but I think it can impact my local community. I am disgusted when walking on Farmington Trail along Farmington River in CT and seeing the trash people toss out or let blow away from their trash cans. I vow to bring a bag and gloves to do a clean up of my own this week because I know that will protect our river and wildlife. If people could just be more aware of what happens to their trash and recyclables, then this could be eliminated from our river and road sides.
Sunetra Neogy
margaret martinovic
la mesa ca
Janice Figman
Carol Browning
I grew up treasuring National Parks, like Yosemite, Crater Lake, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon. As a family when I was a kid, we traveled to all of these, usually car-camping to get there; that was our summer vacation along with hiking much of the John Muir Trail in California. In Oregon, I'd like to see our coastal state parks saved, the Oregon Caves area and the campground near there, and really all our state parks, especially those with yurts, as I can no longer enjoy sleeping in a tent. Any old growth areas we need to save, but I only know the area near the Green Springs; the Cascade-Siskiou Monument area is absolutely priceless, and should not be compromised with ranching and logging. Wish I knew more about other parts of the state, but I sure hope we keep the Smith River undammed and the Rogue as free-flowing as possible, too. We need these areas accessible for the young, the old, and in-between, as havens to escape life in the cities.
Mary Markus
Lee Patrizzi
In August of 2013 I had a large amount skin cancer cut out of the top of my head. It was an exhausting outpatient experience. In August, September, October & November I spent every weekend (with hat and sunscreen) at art fairs, craft fairs, farmers markets and pounding the sand of our beaches collecting over 1800 signatures to get Amendment 1 on the ballot. I did this to do my little part to protect Florida's water and wilderness. I did NOT do this to watch these doc stamps funds be used to pay for salaries and office supplies. All of us worked so hard to get this on the ballot for the water and the land. Our legislators, Senators and Governor must NOT ignore the wishes and the will of the voters of the state of Florida!!
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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.