This week was event-filled for Outdoor Afro where we connected with friends, family, and the community to have fun, and expand the message of outdoor engagement.
The week began with some high-flying times with family and close friends for the Berkeley Kite Festival on what felt like the windiest day of the year. Even if you did not have a kite of your own, there were many beautiful and dynamic kites to see. Some highlights included the kite candy drop; pony rides provided by African American cowboys (more on this later), and bike parking provided by Richmond Spokes, since auto traffic was rough. Note to self for next year: do not bring cheap kites because they will get smacked down in the first 10-minutes of your arrival and you will be laughed at by strangers (trust me on this one). View more pictures
On Tuesday evening, Outdoor Afro joined up with Memorial Tabernacle Church in North Oakland, California for National Night Out to share resources, books, and local programs
for the church and community members to connect with the outdoors in new ways. As much as I enjoy the digital conversation, I recognize not everyone can be reached online, so it’s always enlightening to speak with people directly about their experiences and barriers to the outdoors. I was especially heartened to hear about how Memorial Tabernacle was already leading hikes to Muir Woods, one the most dazzling National Forest sites in the area. View more pictures
Finally, I was interviewed by ABC local affiliate for its Sunday morning show, “Behind the Headlines” that examined the topic of Nature Deficit Disorder, a term coined by Richard Louv, who wrote the ground-breaking book, Last Child in the Woods. It was great to be on the show with friends from Bay Area Wilderness Training, and San Francisco’s Chrissy Field Center. For my first time doing a television interview on this topic, I think it went pretty well and I had a blast! I can’t wait to share the video embed and link with the community as soon as it becomes available.
This upcoming week I am looking forward to the Children and Nature Network’s Grassroots Gathering in Princeton, New Jersey to be on a panel discussing diversity, and social media strategies to connect more people to the outdoors with some of my closest friends and pioneers of this movement from across the country.
No matter where you are, I hope you are finding ways to enjoy your summer. It’s still not too late to get out and make some warm weather memories for you and your loved ones. Check out the Outdoor Afro community site to get some ideas and find people in your area to connect with. There were also many fun ideas discussed on the Outdoor Afro Facebook page and I’ll publish some of these suggestions later this week to inspire you to get outdoors!
What did your community do for National Night Out?
What other Faith Based Organizations do you know that are connecting people to the outdoors?