Teaching in St. Louis city schools offers challenges and opportunities, and they seldom go hand-in-hand. But here's a winning example: getting our students reconnected with nature is a way to turn a challenge into an opportunity. Missouri's young people don't get outside enough and experience all that our public lands and waters have to offer. There are wonderful Wilderness areas only a few hours outside of St. Louis - like Bell Mountain Wilderness and Hercules Glades Wilderness - where our future leaders can connect with nature. This, however, will not be possible if our wilderness lands are not protected. How can students experience and learn from these places if they are not protected?
Congress soon could vote on dozens of conservation bills - including Wilderness and Wildland protection measures - that will help conserve America's land and waters and make them more accessible for growth and learning.