Latino Conservation Week, an initiative of the Hispanic Access Foundation, is taking place through Sunday nationally and in Santa Barbara County.
It was created to support the Latinx community in getting into the outdoors and participating in ways to protect land, water and air. Santa Barbara nonprofits Los Padres ForestWatch and Wilderness Youth Project are participating in the campaign.
“In the five years that I’ve been involved with Latinx Conservation Week, I’ve seen it explode with enthusiasm across the country,” said Graciela Cabello, ForestWatch’s director of youth and community engagement. “It has created a platform for Latinx communities to express our deep appreciation for the environment, public lands and our cultural heritage. Consequently, there are more meaningful relationships built between people and organizations facilitating nature connection, and driving policy and advocacy on conservation issues.”
To increase equitable access to the outdoors, California recently passed legislation to establish the Outdoor Equity Grants Program to provide funding for recreation and environmental education opportunities for youth in under-resourced communities. The bill — Assembly Bill 209 — was authored by Sen. Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara.
ForestWatch and Wilderness Youth Project are hosting an Instagram live conversation with Sen. Limón at 4:30 p.m. Friday to discuss the recent legislation.
To participate, visit the Los Padres ForestWatch Instagram page @lpforestwatch.
“California is home to over 280 state parks and millions of acres of public lands that exhibit the natural beauty and history of our state,” Assemblymember Limón said in a news release. “However, access to outdoor experiences is often out of reach for communities and students of low-income communities.”
For more information, visit latinoconservationweek.com.
— Dave Mason