Because of growing civil unrest , I joined a coalition of fellow park enthusiasts. Our group brainstormed ideas about how we could use our combined platforms to help. We learned that Black people are sorely underrepresented in park visitor-ship. We began to reach out to organizations which encourage people of color to explore our public lands.
Each month, our group intends to spotlight one of these organizations. Last month, we helped spread the word about Black in National Parks Week. I posted about it here. Meanwhile, our friends at Hello Ranger and Everybodys National Parks interviewed the event’s organizer Nicole Jackson on their podcasts.
Soul Trak: Welcoming New Footsteps in the Outdoors►
Building upon that success, we are highlighting Soul Trak for the month of September. Soul Trak Outdoors is a D.C. based non-profit. It mission is to connect communities of color to outdoor spaces while building a coalition of diverse outdoor leaders. They run programs designed for all ages and experience levels.
Although the organization engages youth, college students, and adults in the outdoors, one of Soul Trak’s programs we love the most is the Student Ambassador Program. The program is a year-long environmental stewardship cohort made up of 15 students at Howard University. Ambassadors gain certifications and knowledge in environmental stewardship initiatives, community organizing, wilderness first-aid, community organizing, and outdoor technical skills. Ambassadors also actively engage their peers in stewardship and adventure initiatives.Greg and Amy, Parkchasers