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“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” (John F. Kennedy)

Today I’m continuing my series on People Making a Difference by profiling Robbie Bond, a young man who has made it his mission to save our Nation’s National Monuments.

Kids Speak for Parks _ Robbie Bond

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It started when Robbie learned of a presidential executive order that could threaten the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii, where Robbie lives. It’s the largest marine protected area on Earth, 582,578 square miles of ocean surrounding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Robbie says it’s one of his favorite places, and when he heard that it could be threatened, he decided to take a stand.

Robbie, a homeschooled fourth-grader, formed Kids Speak for Parks to help raise both awareness and donations to help save the 27 National Monuments affected by the executive order. He wants to build “an army of fourth-graders,” encouraging young people to speak out to save these monuments and convince their families to get involved, as well. His website features a petition to ask the Trump administration to save our National Monuments for future generations. Robbie told Huffington Post that when he heard about the executive order, it made him feel scared, angry, and “sad for our country,” adding  “I want to make sure that our national monuments are available for my kids and for future generations.” To help draw awareness to his campaign, Robbie has visited several of the monuments and his petition has received thousands of signatures.

National Geographic Complete National Parks of the United States, 2nd Edition: 400+ Parks, Monuments, Battlefields, Historic Sites, Scenic Trails, Recreation Areas, and Seashores

Grand Staircase-Escalante
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Robbie shares photos and articles about the monuments on his Facebook page, which has over 3,000 followers. He’s working to raise awareness of the one-of-a-kind beauty of such places as Bears Ears National Monument, Canyons of the Ancients, and Craters of the Moon. In an interview with People magazine, he said, “These places are so incredible — I’ve loved every one that I’ve visited.” He says his favorite is the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument in Utah. “It has a cool place called Singing Canyon with all of these holes like Swiss cheese. It’s amazing and it’s under threat now for coal mining. That really bothers me. We should be using solar panels and windmills instead of mining for more coal.”

Bears Ears
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His efforts have drawn praise from the environmental community. Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard told People, “Over and over, I’ve seen great things accomplished by only one person, whether it was taking down a useless dam, cleaning up a toxic canal or taking down an evil government. Robbie Bond is on track to be one of those exceptional persons.” Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society in Hawaii, says, “When a 9-year old says something like ‘our national parks and monuments are under attack,’ you sit up and listen.”

Along with his parents, Robbie also has plans to work with inner-city schools to provide students with an opportunity to visit National Parks and Monuments they might not otherwise get to see. Robbie dreams of becoming an astronaut and one day living on Mars, but for now, he is hard at work to save some of our most beautiful natural settings here on Earth. “It looks like I’ll be doing this for years to come,” he says.

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