MILLENNIAL PERSPECTIVE: A GENERATION'S ABILITY TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE
by Adrian Johnson
Millennials as a generation are beginning to come into their own. Although they may be viewed as self-absorbed and addicted to technology, the landscape of America is changing and it is the responsibility of the current leadership to reach out to this generation and give them a voice. This is especially true when it comes to reforming our state park system.
This huge generation is increasingly powerful--estimated to be at 75 million in 2015, of which just under 50 million are eligible voters. That number accounts for 1 in 5 eligible voters. Millennials are also the most diverse generation in American history with at least one in every five having at least one immigrant parent.
But the experience of millennials is also crucial to understanding them. As this generation gains consciousness, it has become increasingly aware of the stark disparities between socioeconomic and ethnic and racial communities in our country, including when it comes to park access.
Those charged with planning for the future of our parks who want this new generation to appreciate and support our natural resources need to take these factors into account.
The millennial vote is certainly substantial and within reach if the generation is approached in the right way. The generation collectively has the power to take America in whichever direction they see fit, including with parks.
Parks are a nonpartisan issue that undoubtedly directly affects a large portion of the millions of millennials. If they can be tuned into the issues, they certainly have the power to change course and bring our parks system into the 21st Century.