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Building a stronger constituency for the future of our wild and open spaces

Talk for the Women's Environmental Network by Christine Sculati

 

Last week I gave a talk for the Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) at the San Francisco Department of the Environment on what we gain from living lives of adventure and pushing our comfort zones in the wilderness.

My hope is that I can help build a stronger constituency for the future of our wild and open spaces. One way I have been supporting this personal mission is by serving as a writer, consultant, and volunteer for organizations whose work embraces environmental protection, conservation, outdoor education, and youth leadership development.

Now I’d like to try something new. My long-distance hikes on the John Muir Trail in California’s High Sierra over the last two summers inspire me to share my experiences with more people.

The topic appears to be resonating with the WEN community.  We had a good turnout and a lively Q&A. Participants included women who are considering pushing themselves more in the outdoors, changemakers who want to see more people of color out on the trails, a woman who is writing her dissertation on women and the wilderness and environmentalists concerned about the impacts of climate change on High Sierra ecosystems.

Mount Lyell (highest point, right of center, on the skyline) and the Lyell Glacier in Yosemite National Park
Mount Lyell (highest point, right of center, on the skyline) and the Lyell Glacier in Yosemite National Park, as viewed from the John Muir Trail

Lessons from the trail, science of nature experiences, and women in the wilderness

While taking a virtual journey on the trail, we explored three themes along the way:

  1.  The benefits of wilderness immersion and lessons from the trail
  2.  What the science is saying about the benefits of nature experiences
  3.  Women in the wilderness

In my next blog post in this series, I will cover the first topic: The benefits of wilderness immersion and lessons from the trail. Please stay tuned!