Environment
11:05 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Laura Bush Encouraging Environmental Literacy Programs In Texas

Former First Lady Laura Bush was in San Antonio Friday to meet with educators at the Texas Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Summit. Bush is working with a coalition to restore Texas natural lands and promote environmental literacy.

Environmental literacy is more than teaching kids to appreciate nature. Research shows kids who play in nature are more creative, stronger leaders, and have better physical and mental health.

The literacy plan is a three-pronged approach, starting with creating value and awareness about the environment, according to Christine Moseley, Professor in Environmental Science and Education.

“That person then also has the knowledge and skills about the environment. But then that person also takes responsibility of action to live sustainably with the environment,” Moseley said.

Bush told the audience that it’s important for those who already have knowledge to set the example of taking action. Bush said she and the former president are restoring prairie grasses to their ranch near Crawford.

“We began by planting native Texas seed from a native prairie on a strip of land at the edge of an old cattle watering hole. The wild and rangy grasses took, and today Prairie Chapel Ranch has over 100 acres of restored native prairie grassland,” Bush said.

Bush became tearful when she mentioned daughter Jenna is expecting--she said she is looking forward to lying in the grass to watch the stars with her grandchild as she did with her own grandmother.

“George and I have been looking forward to a grandchild for years. So we’re thrilled,” she said.

The Texas Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Summit runs through Saturday at the Tri-Point Conference Center.