Student Perspectives: This blog series was written by San Francisco State University students for the Recreational Use of Parks and Protected Areas course taught by Dr. Nina Roberts in Fall 2015. The goal of Dr. Roberts’ blog assignment was to show how student support of redwood parks can create new ways to foster equal access to nature by diverse communities. For this assignment, each student visited a local redwood park and wrote about their experience. Enjoy!
Have You Taken Advantage of Nature Yet?
by Janell Banday
According to The Outdoor Foundation, just under half (49.2 percent) of Americans participated in an outdoor recreational activity in 2013. If you have not visited a national, local or state park lately, you are missing out on a great way to engage in outdoor recreation. Visiting parks not only supports a healthier lifestyle, but also opportunities to learn.
Although many people take advantage of parks already, participation is uneven and we strive for everyone to visit parks and feel welcomed. In general, people who identify as “Caucasian/White, non-Hispanic” report having the highest participation in outdoor activities, and we want to be sure everyone gets involved. By making sure minorities also have access and knowledge of parks, we can all move toward healthier bodies and minds.
Visiting local redwoods forests is a great start to being actively involved with parks. Many redwood forests offer access to numerous trails for you to hike, bike, run, eat, and play! Many parks even plan regular events for the public to enjoy, bringing fun to all.
After moving up the coast of California, I realized how amazing California’s coastal redwoods are. These trees can live for more than 2,000 years and rank as the world’s tallest tree, measuring up to 379 feet tall. Redwoods are beautifully captivating and hiking through them is such a treat, but do not just take my word for it, go visit a redwood grove today!