This past Sunday we entered into the spring season! For many, the saying “spring has sprung" is particularly true. For others, hang in there, in just a short few weeks that will be a reality for you as well! However, with spring upon us, many are now eagerly looking to spend a significant amount of time in the great outdoors, especially those who made it through the cold and snowy winter season. And, some may be looking for opportunities to find new or nearby communities to join that also love being outside. This is why we are highlighting Your Guide To Inclusive Hiking Across The U.S which features seven outdoor community groups across the United States.
As we have shared in various articles over the past few weeks, the great outdoors has diversity and inclusion challenges. Although this may be the case, Your Guide To Inclusive Hiking Across The U.S. begins with an honest and transparent approach to the issue. For example, it outlines that 40% of the United States population are people of color yet 70% of the people who visit national parks are white. This is done with intentionality, to highlight why the groups depicted in the article exist and their significance. However, the author extends beyond this point and acknowledges the historical conditioning and selection of who has been deemed an "outdoorsy" person versus who has not. This is pertinent because this is a contributing factor to the current chasm of inclusivity and diversity that still exists today. It is said that those who are white, able-bodied, and “fit” enough are typically those who are showcased as enjoying the outdoors.
Jessica Estrada features seven communities across the United States that are refusing to accept this narrative and attempting to shift it. These clubs and communities are said to be making outdoor spaces more acceptable and inclusive for everyone - regardless of physical ability, gender, body type, race, and sexual orientation. By forming an advocacy coalition, removing barriers, and enabling underrepresented communities to realize they are welcome and a part of nature, Estrada discusses how these communities are able to create safe spaces for those historically left out of outdoor spaces and activities. This is all done in hopes of encouraging marginalized individuals across the United States to join communities on their journey to being seen and heard in the great outdoors. The author shares this article to inspire others this spring season, and all seasons, to learn more about and potentially join a group and get outdoors.
The work of these seven groups ensures more welcoming, accessible, and inclusive outdoor spaces, which is truly inspiring. We share this article with you because, at Literally Outside, we live up to our value of being Literally Adventurous - where we work to collaborate and elevate the work of organizations paving the way for equitable change & offering support to blaze new trails. This is exactly what the seven organizations in the article are doing. Additionally, our goal of being Literally Accessible by fostering an environment that is comfortable and welcoming for all is something we aim to achieve - and celebrating other organizations that share a common value is imperative to this goal.
Literally Outside hopes you find this article helpful if you are one of the many people looking to discover new communities of people who are like you and want to enjoy the outdoors. Take a read and maybe you’ll find your next club or community to help inspire you or those you know to enjoy the beautiful outdoors!