When we first developed Urban American Outdoors, our original scope was to create a regional television outdoor program from our perspective. Our show made its national debut before it aired in Kansas City in 2003. Since that time we have grown considerably and with that growth we have acquired more knowledge and responsibility. While on this journey the one thing that stands out is that the Outdoors is vital to all of our existence. It is more than just a place to have fun and relax. It is alive and needs a little assistance from all of us. Being that it is alive, it thrives and grows and occasionally gets sick. If we consistently do things to upset our environment it will let us know, and this could be why we’re having so many strange weather patterns and natural disaster.

There are some scientists that will argue that there is no such thing as global warming, that it is just a common pattern of the ages, but there are others who say that there definitely are indications of just that. According to the National Academy of Sciences, “The earth is running a slight fever from greenhouse gases, after enjoying relatively stable temperatures for 2000 years…additional supporting evidence…those human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming.” The Natural Academy of Sciences is a private organization chartered by the US Congress to advise the Government on all scientific matters and problems. In fact, the current administration is finally accepting the fact that we do have a problem, now to figure out what to do about this.

Recently, a few corporations have started being more green, or more environmentally correct. They are looking at the evidence that there is erosion of our shorelines. There is so much development that is destroying animal and natural habitats at an alarming rate. If we lose too much habitat we hurt the chain and if the chain is messed up, we being the top of the chain will be affected. The saying everything is everything is becoming more relevant everyday. Some people may ask, as being African American, what does that have to do with us? It has so much to do with African Americans. Regardless of the mainstream opinion of African Americans, we are very important to the natural design of things.

We must pay attention to our surroundings and an example of an environmental issue, I’d like to focus on what happened in New Orleans and Mississippi with Hurricane Katrina. There was an estimate of $108 billion in property damage and the evidence is still in effect; our people are still suffering from that devastating disaster. There has been a previous mindset in the African American community that, that kind of thing doesn’t happen where “Black Folk live.” Well it did and it can happened to us again.

Black people were the care givers of the land, we were one with nature. We worked the land and the land worked with us. I believe that if we get back to some of our natural flow by being still, listening and being obedient to this natural flow we can help heal our land and in turn be healed. What is going on with the earth is going on with us. We can not stand by and let others decide our future; we have to become vital members and must take ownership of being a part of the decision making processes.

The solve this issue we can start with being outdoors, breathing in fresh air, and watching nature. The three things can help expand the mind. We don’t always have a lot of extra money to go spend on an exotic adventure but we can take the parks back for our children to play and grow. Our kids need to play ball again, jump rope, and understand nature. When children spend time at the park,  they are able to run off  some of that positive energy, which in turn helps the parent. We can also take our family fishing, because being near the water relieves stress because it’s relaxing. Also, you might just catch that fish and provide a healthy meal for the family. We have heard city parents say that they don’t have things for our kids to do like parents do in the suburbs. That is why Urban American Outdoors is committed to providing activities yearly for city kids like our Urban Kids Fishing Derby. We have planned a new fishing derby on July 29 in Spring Valley Park in Kansas City, Missouri. We will also be organizing hunter ed classes, outdoor safety, and a variety of other free classes for our kids.

Standing or sitting idle has never been good for us. We are people of movement, so we have to expend our energy in a positive way and be watchful over our immediate environment. The future is the children and it would be good to educate our children on conservation so they can move into these fields in the future as an alternative career path. You may say outdoors isn’t your thing but we as a people must consider working in all fields to survive. Outdoors is a wide open field and we need more African Americans involved in making key and sound decisions. It is essential to our existence and our the world. For we are the rhythm and the rhyme and all eyes are watching.

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