Lewis and Clark Community College's Campus recently hosted Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy and Director of the National Park Service Jonathan Jarvis for President Obama's "America's Great Outdoors" Listening Session. The listening session, which took place Friday, Aug. 20 on the Godfrey Campus, was one of a series being held across the country as part of the initiative announced at a White House Conference in April.
Other key dignitaries on-hand included Congressman Jerry Costello, Col. Tom O'Hara, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District, and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.
The event brought together leaders and community members across the country who are working to protect their outdoor spaces and focused on developing and supporting innovative ideas for improving conservation and recreation at the local level.
The secretaries of Interior and Agriculture, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality have been asked by the president to lead this effort and to listen and learn from people across the country.
Lewis and Clark President Dale Chapman said he was honored that Lewis and Clark was selected as the site for this national listening session.
"Community Colleges are a great place to discuss open spaces and conservation, as many of us boast acres of protected areas where students and community members can reconnect with the outdoors and appreciate its value," Chapman said. "We were also pleased to have the representation of Leith Sharp, the Executive Director of the Illinois Green Economy Network, who spoke on behalf of all community colleges and our commitment to green practices at this listening session. She shared her ideas on how community colleges can play a key role in the initiative to re-engage the general public in the great outdoors and inspire them to protect and preserve their local treasures for generations to come."
For more images from the day's event, visit Lewis and Clark's Flickr photo album