A new film in a series called Everyone Outside features the work of Save the Redwoods League in its new era to create more welcoming and equitable park experiences that honor the diversity of Californians. The brainchild of Teresa Baker, founder of the Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge, the film documents outdoor leaders from underrepresented communities being among the first to explore the League’s Harold Richardson Redwoods Reserve, a pristine old-growth grove in the remote hills of Sonoma County. The ancient forest is in the ancestral territory of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians.
Baker brought along BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) thru-hikers, climbers, rangers, activists, foragers, and more. Among the group were Rahawa Haile, Kenja Griffin, Shaandiin Cedar, Michael Estrada, Miho Aida, Endria Richardson, Summer Winston, Alejandra Iraheta, Amanda Jameson, Sherman Dean, and Alejandro Lozano.
On their visit to the reserve, they shared their perspectives on engaging with nature in ways that feel relevant and resonant to them and their communities, from family gatherings to more interactive experiences with the natural world. This group’s insights were invaluable as we move forward in our public access planning for the reserve, which will be the first new ancient redwood park in a generation. Their feedback also will inform and inspire future park development projects such as Alder Creek in Giant Sequoia National Monument.
A moment that stood out for me on this magical day was a conversation about how the redwoods are all connected through extensive root systems, which turns out to be a metaphor for our own communities. In this moment, among my peers, I felt a deep sense of belonging in the outdoors. We need more of these moments for everyone.
Made in collaboration with Baker, the Outbound Collective, and Wondercamp, this film is the fourth in a series called Everyone Outside, an initiative to build a more inclusive and culturally diverse outdoor recreation community. Enjoy!