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July 14, 2017 – In celebration of Latino Conservation Week, Sequoia National Park will play host to 20 young Latino adults from Los Angeles as they collect scientific data on sequoias, hike the Giant Forest, and learn about stewardship. Sponsored by Save the Redwoods League, the event will be led by an intern from the Latino Heritage Internship Program, a joint partnership between the National Park Service and Hispanic Access Foundation.
The young adults, who are members of mission-minded ministry Impacto Juvenil, will help collect scientific data, work with park scientists to measure the diameter of the sequoias, and learn about their ecology. Additionally, the participants will explore interactive exhibits to learn about the contributions Latino National Park employees make to preserve the park’s resources.
On Saturday, July 15th visitors are invited to participate in Spanish Giant Sequoia talks throughout the day, as well as a hands-on Sequoia tree monitoring activity. The Giant Forest Museum will also be hosting a drop-in event where visitors can meet Latino NPS employees and learn about their experiences and inspirations for working at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
“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.”
Historically, Latinos have not been actively engaged to participate in our nation’s public lands. Even with widely documented support, only eight percent of Latinos engaged in outdoor recreation in 2015, according to the Outdoor Foundation. Latino Conservation Week helps to break down barriers to the Latino population’s enjoyment of public lands, encourages new opportunities to experience these sites, creates a unique platform for groups to reach out to this community, and inspires the next generation of environmental stewards.
“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, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation, which launched Latino Conservation Week in 2014 in its effort to showcase the community’s commitment to the outdoors and provide opportunities for engagement. “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.”
Latino Conservation Week is being held July 15 – 23 throughout the nation. More than 100 events are being held by national and state parks, monuments, and wildlife refuges, as well as national and community groups. For information about events, please visit www.latinoconservationweek.com.