WASHINGTON – This month, Congressmen Rob Wittman (R-VA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate September 29, 2020, as National Urban Wildlife Refuge Day.
This resolution highlights the value added to our communities through Urban Wildlife Refuges – primarily promoting conservation, increasing access to wildlife-dependent recreation, and protecting local watersheds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that youth ages 8-18 spend on average 6-9 hours a day in front of screens. During the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are spending greater amounts of time indoors to help slow the spread of the virus, and are unaware of the natural resources nearby. Wildlife refuges provide opportunities for children and people of all ages to discover the outdoors and gain a greater appreciation for the natural world.
As America continues to become more urbanized and our younger generations flock to metropolitan areas, it is more important than ever to emphasize the significance of our Urban Wildlife Refuges. The Urban Wildlife Conservation Program supports National Urban Wildlife Refuges and Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships that work to connect with Americans living in cities to deliver greater wildlife conservation and access to recreation, especially hunting and fishing.
“National Urban Wildlife Refuges play an important role in conservation efforts, but also support local economies by promoting outdoor recreation,” said Congressman Wittman. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the continued importance outdoor recreation has played in the overall health and wellbeing of folks across the nation, and urban refuges go a long way to enhancing recreational options for people in urban areas. September 29th is a day to celebrate all that these refuges bring to our communities, and signify the critical contributions they will provide for generations to come.”
“National Urban Wildlife Refuges give city residents a crucial opportunity to interact with nature, all while turning a profit for local economies,” said Congressman Jeffries. “At a time when many spend all of their time in front of screens, it is critical for citizens to be able to get out and explore the great outdoors. This importance has only been reinforced during the COVID-19 public health emergency, where urban wildlife refuges have given us places to safely get out of our homes and enjoy fresh air. I am proud to have co-sponsored this bipartisan resolution to commemorate all that National Urban Wildlife Refuges offer to our communities.”
Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he serves as the ranking member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.