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Idaho Latino Conservation Week: Breaking down the barriers

Peques Nature Club and the Idaho Conservation League are some of the Idaho organizations working to increase Latinos' engagement with the outdoors.

BOISE, Idaho — Getting people outdoors is a mission for many conservation organizations, but education materials and events don’t always reach all our communities.

"Visibility for our Latinx communities. We don't see them a lot being part of the rafting, hiking, taking their piques out to the park to play," said Cristina Medrano, co-founder of Peques Nature Club.

Medrano said that’s sometimes because those communities hit certain roadblocks.

"We have financial barriers, time barriers, language barriers and the knowledge of the natural spaces that we can enjoy,” she said.

To help close that gap, many organizations, including the Peques Nature Club, are participating in Latino Conservation Week.

"Latino Conservation Week and Peques Nature Club, we are intentional about breaking those barriers to include and involve our families in the outdoors,” Medrano said.

<<En Español: Semana de la conservación latina. ¿Cómo puede involucrarse?>>

Latino Conservation Week is dedicated to help people reconnect with the outdoors and learn how to protect the environment.

"Our ancestors were so much more connected to nature, and we have moved away from it,” Medrano said. “In the state of Idaho, we have so many amazing natural spaces for families to learn from and play and have fun. At the ability to contribute to those spaces by making them better."

Bettering spaces is an effort the Idaho Conservation League knows all about.

"We think of it as protecting the air you breath, and the lands you love," said Josh Johnson, the ICL's Central Idaho director. "Historically, this space has been dominated by white people, and it's important to broaden the umbrella for conservation. A fundamental piece of conservation is to care about the places they want to protect.”

It’s a topic and a community the Idaho Conservation League hopes to hear from.

"We certainly want to hear from folks in the Latino community. What's important to you from an environmental standpoint. what issues do you care about,” Johnson said. “What should we be doing in different communities to work towards a better environment."

Peques Nature Club and other organizations across the Gem State are hosting events. Peques' next meetup is a "Meet a beekeeper" event Friday, July 21, at the Garden City Pollinator Habitat. More activities during and beyond Idaho Latino Conservation Week are listed in the posts below and on the Peques Nature Club Facebook page.

If you can’t make those, Medrano said there are other ways to take part.

"Getting outside to the park. Getting your kids to run around in the park. Exploring the flowers and the bees,” Medrano said.

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