MEDIA ADVISORY: Cross-Country Veteran Listening Sessions Launch, Starting in Georgia


AUGUSTA, GA – Sierra Club Military Outdoors (SCMO) is launching a listening session series in concert with an online survey to create an opportunity for veterans and active-duty servicemembers to share their needs and experiences, and to help shape future legislation that affects them.

In 2020, Congress passed the Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act, leading to the creation of the Task Force on Outdoor Recreation for Veterans, an inter-agency task force seeking to better utilize public lands for the rehabilitation and wellness of veterans. One phase of this task force’s work involves putting together a report of recommendations for ways to aid veterans in engaging with nature and dismantle the barriers preventing them from doing so. 

SCMO’s goal with this listening session series and survey is to hear what veterans and servicemembers want and need when it comes to accessing the outdoors, to understand which barriers are preventing them from doing so, and to let veterans and servicemembers play a part in coming up with solutions. The SCMO team will compile the results of the survey and listening sessions into a report and share that with the Task Force on Outdoor Recreation for Veterans. 

“The veterans and active-duty servicemembers we are working to help deserve to play a critical role in discussions about their needs and experiences in the outdoors and any potential solutions that come from that,” said SCMO Senior Campaign Strategist Vedia Barnett. “As a disabled Black woman veteran, it is important to me that our efforts reach all corners of the veteran population. We’re excited to help shed light on the unique perspectives of various veteran communities, fostering greater awareness and support for their experiences and needs as it pertains to recreating in the outdoors and to ensure the VA hears their unique yet often overlooked voices as it crafts its recommendations over the next year.”

For each listening session Sierra Club is working with local veteran-focused organizations to connect with the local veteran community to inspire veterans from underrepresented and underserved communities to participate in positive and productive discussions, and to bring expertise, ideas, and examples that will inform federal, state, and local policy initiatives in addressing inequitable access for veterans to nature and its benefits.

The first listening session will be hosted on Saturday, Dec. 2, in Augusta, Georgia. Future listening sessions are being planned for Los Angeles, CA; Jacksonville, FL; Michigan; Minnesota; New York; and Kentucky in early 2024.

The 7-minute survey is available on the SCMO website: 

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit