On this episode of the Park Leaders Show, co-host, Phil Gaines, returns to discuss ways to be a champion for public lands. Jody and Phil are joined by special guest and nationally recognized historian, Clay Jenkinson.
Clay Jenkinson is a nationally recognized historian, author, and public humanities scholar. Specifically, he has a special interest in Thomas Jefferson and the American republic.
As an expert on Theodore Roosevelt’s life and presidency, Clay unpacks the dynamics surrounding Roosevelt’s exploration and conservation efforts. He also dissects the generational differences concerning the expectations of parks. For instance, when one talks about spiritual significance, Roosevelt’s definition is arguably more sacred than the modern-day interpretations due to how people perceive reverence and what constitutes a rejuvenation of the human spirit.
Either way, to be a better American, Clay suggests people understand what made this country and what it is. He also advises park leaders to define public lands to include better technology for maximal engagement. Those are the easiest ways to be a champion for public lands. While Roosevelt and his peers were compelled to pioneer accessibility, if the current populace is to appreciate iconic landmarks, there must be pathways for them to embrace that accessibility.
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