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Last week, while teaching a group of high school students, I had a 16-year-old boy ask me what it was about being outside in the forest that made me want to do the work I do. I really had to think about my answer, it didn’t come easily to me — I didn’t think that “Because I just LOVE being outside” would be a sufficient answer. Then I realized what spending time outside really means to me, and it is perfectly reflected in this quote by Rachel Carson.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

Being in nature makes me feel strong and grounded, and it makes me really happy! And spending that time with others, especially my close friends and family, is even better. Fortunately, my colleagues at Save the Redwoods League all feel the same way! So today, we are encouraging everyone to Opt Outside with free passes to our redwood state parks.* You can also visit East Bay Regional Parks and Peninsula Open Space Preserves for free.

Wherever you go, we hope you’ll make happy new memories with your friends and family as you enjoy the natural beauty around you. Play in the colorful fallen leaves, throw snowballs while bundled in warm clothes, enjoy a day at the beach, or walk among the redwoods!

Wherever you choose to “contemplate the beauty of the earth” remember that those are the memories that are going to endure, make you happy and connect you to your family and friends.

Download your free redwood park pass, and make sure to tag your photos with #OptOutside and #IntoTheRedwoods.

*To avoid overcrowding and overwhelming the parks, free park passes are first-come, first-served. You can still visit any park subject to admission fees.


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About Deborah Zierten

Deborah joined the League's staff in 2013 as the Education & Interpretation Manager. She brings with her extensive experience teaching science, developing curriculum and connecting kids to the natural world.


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