Welcome to I’ll Go If You Go, a Save the Redwoods League podcast.
Through conversations with Black, Indigenous, and people of color who explore and work in the outdoors, we’re building community and illuminating how Californians from all walks of life think about and experience nature and conservation, in the redwoods and beyond.
Season 2 host Emily Harwitz (she/her), a multimedia science writer and photographer, meets up with folks doing fun, traditional, and nontraditional things in the redwoods—from mushroom foraging to canoeing to skateboarding.
I’ll go if you go — because when we explore together in community, the experience is all the more powerful.
Music by Nhu Nguyen and Anni Feng.
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We’ve explored many ways to play in the redwoods this season. What resonates most, beyond any single activity, is the relationships formed and fortified—with one another, with the outdoors, and with one another in the outdoors. In this season’s finale, beneath the redwoods in Oakland, Grace Anderson (she/her) and Mo Asebiomo (they/she) embody Black joy (spontaneous laughter alert!), the expansive meaning of playing outside (cloud watching or an adrenaline-pumping bike ride, choose your own adventure), and the powerful affirmation that comes from affinity and resilient friendships. Let’s play! Read more
In the northern reaches of the California coast, Yurok Country is home to the state’s largest federally recognized tribal nation. On a brisk morning here in Redwood National Park, Yurok Tribe member Josh Norris invited us to paddle down the Klamath River in ‘ohl-we’-yoch, a traditional Yurok canoe carved from a fallen redwood trunk. He shares about the anatomy of “the boat of the people,” how the river has transformed over generations, and reimagining education and community development while revitalizing and preserving Yurok culture. Book a canoe ride at visityurokcountry.com/canoes.
Skateboarding in the redwoods might seem unconventional, but it’s a thing. The nonprofit Skate Like a Girl (SLAG) hosts a sleepaway skate camp for women, trans, and nonbinary skaters—in the middle of Sequoia National Forest. We skated with SLAG in Santa Cruz and from the skate park ventured into the Forest of Nisene Marks with squad members Sam Mercado, Jai Ledesma, and Kim Woozy to talk skateboarding, nature, and building inclusive community. Turns out skate culture has some things in common with the redwood forest. Both inspire joy, resilience, and a sense of belonging. Read more
Visit skatelikeagirl.com to register for programs, including Women + Trans Skate Camp from August 8-12 or 15-19, 2022 (two sessions, registration opens May 7, 2022).
Oakland’s Lake Merritt may be a few miles from the nearest redwood forest, but this tidal slough is not only a bustling community space for locals, unhoused neighbors, artists, musicians, and roller skaters — it’s also a whole wildlife refuge abundant with native and migratory birds. For would-be birders, it’s a gateway. We went birding (aka birdwatching) right here with naturalist and artist Clay Anderson. Turns out he practiced both passions working many seasons at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Listen and learn about what it takes to be a birder, nature journaling, and birds of the redwoods. Read Episode Transcript
What is forest bathing, really? Originating as a mindfulness practice in Japan called shinrin-yoku, it involves activities that help heighten your senses to experience nature on another level and improve overall well being. It’s a vibe. Certified forest bathing guide Juan Lazo Bautista takes us into the redwoods and explains this immersive nature experience, including a meditation, tools, and practices to help guide you on your journey. Hope you emerge from this episode like a happy little tree (shoutout to Bob Ross). | Read Episode Transcript
In the season 2 premiere, Leslie Parra passes the mic to new host Emily Harwitz as they venture into Wilder Ranch State Park to go mushroom foraging with Arthur Lee of Mazu Mushrooms. In the middle of a redwood fairy ring, they explore the fantastic world of fungi — from mushrooms’ animal-like qualities to the way they can restore lands and waterways through a process called myco-remediation to which ones can literally kill you. Listen and learn all about what makes mushrooms so magical. | Episode Transcript
I’ll Go If You Go is back for its second season. Check out this quick trailer video for a preview of the outdoor adventures we’ll take you on in 2022. Episode 1 of Season 2, “The fungus among us” with Arthur Lee is now available! Follow Save the Redwoods League on Instagram @savetheredwoods
About the host
Emily Harwitz (she/her) is a multimedia science writer and photographer whose work focuses on the environment and our connection to it. She tells stories that foster community, provoke curiosity, and inspire a sense of deeper connection with the natural world around us.
Leslie Parra (she/her) connects diverse communities to redwood and sequoia forests. She has garnered significant recognition for her leadership in community civic action, STEM and environmental education, and diversity, equity, and inclusion work over the past 15 years. Her professional calling is to cultivate enrichment programs with multicultural and international perspectives, driven by and in collaboration with communities. During her free time, she loves to go hiking with her partner Eric and their dog Mishqui (which means “sweet” in Quichua, the native language of Ecuador—a place she calls home).
What is a podcast?
A podcast is an internet audio show that you can listen to at any time and any place, either on your computer, tablet, or phone.
How do I listen to a podcast?
You can listen to it directly from this web page or through any podcast apps available, like Spotify, Anchor, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, and more. Open your favorite app, search “I’ll Go If You Go” and press play on each episode you’d like to listen to.
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