The Refuge Association’s Urban and Conservation Programs welcomes SRI’s LEAD Youth Leaders to the Florida Everglades!

Chad Brown, board member of the Refuge Association and founder of Soul River Inc (SRI), is currently leading a week-long expedition through the Florida everglades with future conservation leaders from Portland, Oregon.

SRI Youth LEADers arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on June 18 and have spent the past couple of days with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) refuge managers and staff at Arthur R. Marshall (A.R.M.) Loxahatchee National Wildlife. Refuge. Known by many as one of South Florida’s crown jewels within the National Wildlife Refuge System, the world’s largest network of protected land and water for wildlife conservation, A.R.M. Loxahatchee NWR symbolically represents the future direction our country is heading, both environmentally and demographically, due to climate change impacts and diversifying communities.

SRI works with U.S. veterans to connect youth to nature and to provide mentorship for budding environmental ambassadors. Together the SRI team and youth work to strengthen local communities and to forge a sense of identity, purpose, and belonging, guided by Soul River Inc.’s mission.

The weeklong trip will provide unique leadership opportunities for these young individuals to network with conservation professionals and to work with key partners including the Refuge Association and the USFWS staff. These valuable partners play a key role in helping SRI’s LEADers shape their future, by opening doors in the political, managerial, scientific, and educational fields. The engagement between a professional key partner and a young leader is to evoke a thought-processing dialogue on pressing issues and current events.

The SRI youth LEADers will be participating in a wide range of activities and will be learning about the following:

Sea Turtle Nesting/Alligator Survey/Night Prowl, Canoe Trail/Python Patrol Training, Swamp Slog, Water Quality with National Park Service Scientist, Water Sampling and Analyzing, Air Boat Tour, Fly Fishing and Entomology Investigation, Everglades Ecosystem Assessment, Scientific Inquiry and Journaling, Outdoor Leadership Development, Networking and Advocacy with key Industry Leaders, Kayaking/Fishing in Tarpon at Tarpon Bay Explorers, Sugar Farm/Local Rancher Visits, Covering Panther Issues

Special thanks to the USFWS, partners at Blackbeard’s Ranch, and the Florida Conservation Group, for their generous support and contributions hosting the SRI’s Youth LEADers.

Be sure to follow their unique journey on social media this week with Soul River Inc.



Permanent link to this article: https://www.refugeassociation.org/2017/06/the-refuge-associations-urban-and-conservation-programs-welcomes-sris-lead-youth-leaders-to-the-florida-everglades/


  1. Stefanie Scovill says:

    SRI continues to make moves that are steps ahead of many other youth development organizations! I’m so proud to be a volunteer with SRI and continue to get amazed with the innovative and creative ideas that Chad proposes and orchestrates and the partnerships that stand alongside with unwavering support and commitment. Keep it up Chad!

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