Clearwater & America's Great Outdoors Initiative

October 4, 2010
Joel Chadabe


Dave Conover talks about the origins of Clearwater

From a Clearwater statement:

"In April 2009, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum establishing the America's Great Outdoors Initiative to promote and support innovative community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and to reconnect Americans to the outdoors.

President Obama's memorandum

"To inform their work, senior-level officials conducted listening sessions around the country to engage interested groups, including tribal leaders, farmers and ranchers, sportsmen, community park groups, foresters, youth groups, businesspeople, educators, state and local governments, and recreation and conservation groups.

"In organizing these listening sessions in 25 cities across the nation, the administration was particularly interested in learning from individual citizens regarding their interactions with the 'great outdoors' and how the federal government can better enable Americans to access the outdoors.

"Post event, federal officials have requested that listening session participants submit their policy recommendations in a white paper or online at their 'Idea Jam' site. These submissions will be compiled with other suggestions from all over the nation and submitted to the President. This summary report will be released on November 15th on the AGOI website.

"Clearwater has come up with a unique and very authentic way to contribute to the 'Idea Jam.' The Hudson Valley youth listening session percolated with comments and feedback from the youth about access to the natural environment, creating green spaces, green building, green education, and green careers. Clearwater's youth and youth from partnering organizations were very vocal in sharing their concerns at the session."

· · ·

Clearwater decided to make its statement through a video that would become a symbol and call to youths nationwide to assert leadership and become the leaders of tomorrow in the environmentsal movement. The central theme in the video was to be the song 'This Land is Your Land', reworked and sung by members of Clearwater's Power of Song youth group as well as by youths from other organizations. Pete Seeger would join the group as a symbol of passing the baton to the next generation. The video was to be recorded at Clearwater's camp in Beacon, a village north of New York.

The recording took place on September 1. On behalf of EMF, I accepted Clearwater's invitation to record the audio, and went to Beacon with Tom Beyer, EMF's Technical Director, and his assistant.

Tom Beyer & Heidi Kitlas discussing the setup

Recording the song

This Land is Your Land ...

and after the song

Jeff Rumpf

What is this all about?

Heidi Kitlas

Heidi discusses Clearwater's educational programs

The final recording under the tree

And the video