Dear DPNC Community,
Monocultures in nature are unnatural and have deep, inherent weaknesses. A diverse array of species in any habitat allows symbiotic relationships, critical to the survival of the earth, to thrive. Similarly, supporting and embracing diversity among humans is critical for our survival as a single species.
We recognize that we are privileged to live surrounded by nature. Yet the United Nations Environment Program in conjunction with the UN Human Rights Office, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and over 150 countries, have consistently recognized access to nature and a healthy environment, not as a privilege, but as a human right. The human spirit needs nature.
We recognize that our immediate community is not very diverse, but the constituents we serve are. We have long worked to equalize the disparities in educational opportunities and access to nature by making our programming available to all, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or ability to pay. Through outreach to under served schools and communities, access to fresh produce from our Giving Garden, and by facilitating access to the Nature Center and other natural areas for our constituents through scholarships, we have sought to make the benefits of nature more inclusive.
We recognize that we have more work to do. We have the opportunity to further break down the disparity in access to nature. As we begin the process of developing our next strategic plan, we are committed to listening to the needs of our diverse constituents and increasing representation as a critical path to a stronger, more sustainable future. Just as diverse species in any habitat is critical to the survival of the earth, supporting and embracing diversity among humans is critical for us to thrive.
Davnet Conway Schaffer