VISALIA TIMES DELTA: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Friday, July 14 2017

Just south of Yosemite, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National park is celebrating Latino Conservation Week.

Twenty young Latino adults from Los Angeles led by an intern from the Latino Heritage Internship Program, will work with scientists to collect data on the sequoias, hike the Giant Forest, participate in interactive exhibits and learn about the stewardship the Latino community takes preserving the national park.

The Latine Heritage Internship program is sponsored by the Save the Redwoods League and is a joint partnership between the National Park Service and Hispanic Access Foundation.

 

“Latino Conservation Week provides a great opportunity for Sequoia National Park to reach new audiences,” said Woody Smeck, superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. “This experience is one that changes perspectives on the grandeur of nature and encourages youth to take up stewardship to ensure places like this remain for future generations.”

Research shows that Latinos aren't actively engaging in activities on public lands. Eight percent of Latinos participated in outdoor recreation in 2015, according to the Outdoor Foundation.

On July 15, visitors can listen in on Spanish Giant Sequoia talks and participate in hands-on tree monitoring.The Giant Forest Museum will al host drop-in meet and greets with Latino National Park Service employees. The visitors can chat and learn about their experiences at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National parks.

Latino Conservation Week proudly acts as an ice breaker to the Latino population's enjoyment of public lands, excitement for new adventures to be taken in the parks and inspiration to the next Latino generation to take part in the stewardship of a national treasure.

“Latinos are passionate about enjoying the outdoors and hold a strong belief that we have a moral obligation to protect it for future generations,” said Maite Arce, CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation, which launched Latino Conservation Week in 2014. “The week’s events will introduce Latinos to new opportunities, new locations and new ways to translate their passion for the outdoors into making a difference for our nation’s treasured natural resources.”

By Danielle A Martin
Visalia Times Delta

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