Like a lot of people who care about America's national parks and monuments, Robbie Bond is concerned about the status of protected land in the current political climate. But unlike many others, Bond is doing something about it.
He recently launched a website and a petition to draw attention to the threats facing our national lands. He's also visiting as many national parks and monuments as he can to learn more about them and share their stories with others. Not bad for a 10-year-old who's also working his way through the fourth grade.
Robbie Bond, a homeschool student from Honolulu, is making it his mission to speak up for America's national treasures. With his website, Kids Speak For Parks, Robbie is hoping to inspire people of all ages to take interest in and take care of our national parks. With the help of his parents, commercial diver Robin Bond and science teacher Michelle Bond, Robbie is also traveling the country to visit national parks and monuments and to talk about their importance with anyone who will listen.
"I tell adults and children how important it is to preserve our national parks and monuments for future generations," Robbie says in an interview with MNN. "You can’t protect things you don't understand and you won't if you don't care. We can’t get the parks back once they are damaged or destroyed, and I want to ensure the parks are available for future generations."
Robbie started a petition to raise awareness about the issues facing our national parks and monuments, particularly the 27 national monuments that have been considered candidates for downsizing under the current administration. President Trump recently announced plans to slash two of these national monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, both in Utah, by 80 percent and 45 percent respectively. Some of the other sites on the list include Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou, Gold Butte in Nevada, Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine, and Oregon's Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande Del Norte.
Here's a peek at Bond's petition (which currently has more than 2,000 signatures):
When the Trump administration issued an executive order threatening to harm 27 of our national monuments, I knew I couldn’t just tour our national parks. I needed to speak up.
We must build an army of fourth-graders and their families to stand up and speak for the parks. Our government needs to hear, from the youngest amongst us, that our national parks and monuments are not for sale.
Join our army. Tell President Trump and his administration -- HANDS OFF OUR PARKS AND MONUMENTS.
Robbie is also sharing the unique stories of national parks and monuments on Facebook and Instagram. So far, he has visited 15 national monuments as well as Grand Teton, Grand Canyon and Hawaii Volcanoes national parks. He tells MNN he's "super excited" to visit Papahānaumokuākea and Katahdin Woods and Waters national monuments.
As he visits each location, Robbie is hoping to create educational videos about the history, biology, ecology and geology that make every park unique. "I want all teachers and students to be able to access this educational platform for free," he says. "I also want to encourage children and their families to spend time in our national parks so they can see firsthand how amazing these parks are."
Check out #KidsSpeakForParks to learn more, and add the tag to your own family-adventure posts about national parks and monuments to be part of Robbie's army to save our national lands.