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Recreation Theory and Philosophy

Guide created for Recreation Leadership Course with Dan Caston.


Environmental stewardship refers to responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices. Aldo Leopold championed environmental stewardship based on a land ethic "dealing with man's relation to land and to the animals and plants which grow upon it."

Think of six natural resource systems and desired outcomes for each one:

  • Air: Sustain clean and healthy air
  • Ecosystems: Protect and restore ecosystems functions, goods, and services
  • Energy: Generate clean energy and use it efficiently
  • Land: Support ecologically sensitive land management and development
  • Materials: Consume less, reduce waste, and shift to environmentally preferable materials
  • Water: Sustain water resources to ensure quality and availability for desired uses



Audio Clips:

Gana Wingard, lead scientist on the expedition Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe, has been working for more than 20 years to conserve the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve and empower the local communities to take an active role in this work. On this episode of the Earthwatch Podcast, Gana shares how she was inspired to pursue a career in conservation, the importance of community involvement, and how she’s working to create the next generation of environmental stewards.

Angelou is the founder and CEO of Greening Youth Foundation, an organization that focuses on the recruitment and placement of thousands of youth and young adults from diverse backgrounds in careers in conservation and land management. Her book, Engage, Connect, Protect: Empowering Young Diverse Environmental Leaders, illustrates the lifelong pursuit of inclusion and equity in conservation and environmental stewardship. On today’s episode, we chat with Angelou about her journey and the work she is doing to bridge the cultural divide and activate a new generation of environmental stewards, as well as why it’s so important to foster a love for this kind of mission.

Joining me today is the author of the article, and previous guest of Open Space Radio, Kathleen Gibi, the executive director for Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful. Kathleen is also a member of Parks & Recreation magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board. We’re also joined by Brad Collett, the director of Tennessee RiverLine, to have a conversation about the good work that’s happening on the Tennessee River and in the surrounding communities.

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