Outdoors For All

Commentary, Essays, Madison, Nelson Institute, Outdoors For All / 03.07.2019

Much of last Friday morning and afternoon I spent cooking and cleaning house. To celebrate the last week of class I invited my students to enjoy a home cooked meal and the shade of my backyard on a beautiful summer’s day. Though it would have been easier to order the same food items as takeout from Chipotle, I’m not about that it. Grilled chicken, beef and vegetables, tortillas, fresh mango salsa, cilantro rice and vegan pinto beans was the least I could do to reward all the hard...

Adventure Activism, Charitable Giving, Commentary, Environmental Protection, Ice Age Trail, Kids in Nature, Madison, National Forests, National Parks, Outdoors For All, Public Land, The Pathways Project, U.S. Forest Service, Urban Parks, Walking, Wisconsin / 03.06.2019

Much of the joy in my life I owe to the generosity of strangers. The advent of social media has merely expanded my capacity for building relationships with people I hardly know. For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed the benefits of an existence vulnerable to the whims of fate. With a vague notion of what the future lay in store, I’ve pretty much trusted in the naive belief that everything will just work out for the best. Many of my adventures have been made possible...

#BlackLivesMatter, Commentary, Diversity, Outdoors For All, Television / 07.03.2019

This morning I woke up feeling a bit depleted. With a lengthy reporting project turned in yesterday for first round editing and a presentation last night at our local climbing gym I couldn’t seem to shed the weight of heavy thoughts. When you spend your days trying to parse out the disparities of social justice and to engage an emerging population of black and brown folks on the values of environmental conservation it can get to be little overwhelming.  At 5AM with temperatures hovering just a few degrees above...

Books, Commentary, Diversity, Essays, Madison, Outdoors For All, River Restoration, Special Events, Wisconsin / 08.11.2018

  At the end of October I had the great honor and privilege to host a distinguished guest to the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Author and explorer Eddy L. Harris made a rare appearance on campus to share his experiences paddling the Mississippi River from its source in Lake Itasca, Minnesota to its terminus in the Gulf of Mexico at the City of New Orleans. Depicted in his film “River to the Heart” Eddy paints an intimate portrait of what awaits those willing to venture out into the unknown...

Environmental Journalism, Nelson Institute, Outdoor Recreation, Outdoors For All / 27.06.2018

In the summer of 2018 my course called Outdoors For All met three days a week for three hours each day for four weeks. At first I thought I’d have difficulty filling the time, but with subject matter spanning more than 150 years of racial oppression I had compiled enough historical references and case studies to fill the pages of my next book. Each day of class constituted a chapter on a specific element of the long narrative of discrimination from the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 through the...

Diversity, Nelson Institute, Outdoors For All / 31.05.2018

  My class Outdoors For All at the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies is a 12-day course presented over 4 weeks. I'm presenting each day as a series of chapters like a book.  In Chapter 5 my students are learning about the Green Book. Written by a U.S. Postal Service employee named Victor Hugo Green, this travel guide for African-American motorists was an essential tool for the ability of Black people to safely navigate the highways, small towns and big cities of the United States from...