Episode 200: Into the F.U.T.U.R.E.

Learn about the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. Initiative

The Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. Initiative is a coalition of ethnically and racially diverse leaders dedicated to ensuring youth from historically excluded communities have access to meaningful experiences in the outdoors. As a team, the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. Initiative is campaigning for the creation of a national fund that could secure long term investments in programs that provide opportunities for all our youth to spend time outdoors. 

In this episode, Gabaccia is our guide as we learn about equity, the importance of outdoor equity funds, and what it takes to get legislation across the finish line. Meet four women from the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. Initiative who are creating more opportunities for youth in the outdoors.

This is the last of six episodes hosted by Gabaccia Moreno in 2021 as part of our She Explores host residency program. It’s also our last episode of the year. Thanks for being here.

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If you enjoy this episode, you might also enjoy our See Us Outside miniseries.

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A full transcript is available below the photos.

Featured in this episode: Teresa Martinez, Jessica Loya, and Laura Flores

Hosted & Produced by Gabaccia Moreno @gabaccia

With support from Gale Straub

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Featured in this Episode

Our resident host, Gabaccia Moreno, by Roberto Flores Buck

Teresa Martinez, Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition

Laura Flores, Teacher and Volunteer Program Coordinator for Latino Outdoors

Jessica Loya, Environmental and Conservation Policy Expert and the manager of the Next 100 Coalition

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TRANSCRIPT

Note: This transcript was lightly edited and created using a transcription service. As such it may contain spelling errors.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Hi everyone. It’s Gale stay tuned at the end of the episode, after the credits for a conversation between me and Gabaccia about her residency. And also to hear a little bit about the future of She Explores, okay. On with the show.

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

I’m Gabaccia Moreno, and you are listening to She Explores.

Jessica Loya:

The outdoors should be equitable. Everyone should have access to meaningful outdoor recreation experiences.

Teresa Martinez:

We need all of us moving forward together because we can’t wait our watersheds can’t wait our wildlife, can’t wait. Our humanness can, can’t wait anymore for us to figure out all the right pieces. We just have to sort of start addressing what we can now so that we can start breaking down those barriers. And we start making progress. We can’t wait anymore

Laura Flores:

Growing up in a, in a, in a low income family, and now being able to get outside in as an adult. I see all those benefits as an adult, again, mentally, physically. And I wish that I was afforded those opportunities at a younger age. My profession may have changed if I would have been introduced to any type of conservation or any type of outdoors, because I love that work now. And so I imagine that that if that was something that was fostered me as a, as a young child, that, that would’ve been the direction that I would’ve gone in.

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

You just heard from my colleagues Jessica Loya, Teresa Martinez, and Laura Flores. They are all women who play important roles in conservation and the outdoors. But there is one project in particular that is very close to my heart and which has brought us all together in the past year, The Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. Initiative. I also want to disclose that this initiative was brought together by Nuestra Tierra Conservation project, the organization where I currently serve as National Monuments Fellow. I want to add that I’m incredibly grateful for the team at She Explores for believing in this work and allowing me to use this space to amplify it. In short, the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. Initiative is a coalition of ethnically and racially diverse leaders dedicated to ensuring youth from historically excluded communities have access to meaningful experiences in the outdoors. As a team, the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. Initiative is campaigning for the creation of a national fund that could secure long term investments in programs that provide opportunities for all our youth to spend time outdoors. In this episode, we’ll learn about equity, the importance of outdoor equity funds, and about what it takes to get legislation across the finish line. The women interviewed for this episode alongside myself, are only 4 of over a dozen core members who make up our growing coalition. The outdoors as we know it, is a more complex subject than meets the eye. Many of us may easily take for granted the amount of access and opportunities we’ve had outdoors, and that is because we’ve had the privilege of a life lived in proximity to nature and recreational opportunities outside. But historically and systemically, not everyone has had equitable access to these opportunities, and that is not to be confused with “equal access.” Teresa Martinez, the Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition and member of the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. makes a good comparison between equity and equality.

Teresa Martinez:

Equity is a hard concept for some people, cuz I think people confuse it with which isn’t exactly the same thing, but I like to talk about them in sort of the same space where equality is. Everyone has equal access to the same things mm-hmm <affirmative> or they have access to the same things. But equity is where people who have traditionally been marginalized or lack the resources or there have been barriers to have the opportunities to have that access are given or provided space to level the playing field, so to speak so that in those access to public lands, for example, or resources, they have additional so support so that when they get to that place where they’re at at the line with everybody else, they can actually experience the same thing

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

To give you an example, equality would be “everyone has the right to visit National Parks, and the entrance fees are usually $35 dollars, or $80 for an interagency annual pass.” On National Public Lands Day, fees are waived so anyone can enjoy all public lands for free, and making park access a bit more equitable. I posed a question about the challenges of access to the outdoors to our colleague Jessica Loya, who is an Environmental and Conservation Policy Expert and the manager of the Next 100 Coalition. She does a good job of further illustrating some of the existing issues that relate to the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E..

Jessica Loya:

You know, this is a question we get a lot because you know, when you think of the outdoors, you think, well it should be accessible to everyone already, right? Don’t they just have to walk outside mm-hmm <affirmative> or drive to the trail head or, you know, rent a pair of kayaks, uh, at their local outdoor recreation business. And the reality is, is that doing all of those things, whether it’s trying to get to your local trail head, if your local trail head is not within walking distance of where you live and you do not own a personal vehicle, or you come from a family where perhaps you only have one vehicle that’s used across, you know, multiple individuals and it’s not readily accessible to you, then, you know, you may seek out public transportation in order to get to that Trailhead. However, many public transportation infrastructure are not set up currently to help the everyday individual let alone a member of a underrepresented or overburdened community such as, you know, community of color or economically, uh, disenfranchised, such as poor to get out to that trail head.

Jessica Loya:

So, you know, some of those challenges can be economic. Some of those challenges can be structural infras sure of what’s around you and what is being valued by your city or your state in terms of where you should have access to. And so, you know, there’s a, a number of challenges, but it also just might be that your schools, which are places where I think many of us think <affirmative>, um, you know, children have regular access to field trips or should have regular access to field trips out to parks or other outdoor spaces. Many times, you know, our schools, our teachers, our, our educational institutions, uh, do not have the funding necessary to actually support getting all youth outside. And so many times those outdoor recreation experiences that are provided by educational institutions may not be fully accessible to all students, but may require some form of a cost or may be limited to the number of students that can participate. So those are just some of the challenges that communities that youth can face when trying to, uh, get outside.

Gabaccia Moreno:

Totally. Thanks for sharing that. Other barriers to the outdoors may not be as visible as we would think that ISA shared some thoughts around barriers that really resonate with how I see these issues too. Yes. Nature

Teresa Martinez:

Itself. Doesn’t naturally put up barriers to people getting outdoors. Our society does, you know, in that case, I think that’s how, you know, these traditional systemic barriers that exist in our society also exists when people wanna go. And that’s an everyday society, whether it’s getting to the grocery store or to a job or whatever, right? It’s the same thing as when you go outdoors, it’s just amplified. Oftentimes because it’s also can be a very scary place if you’re the only person of color in a place and there, it can be a not safe place for you, or you may just not feel safe. It may be perfectly safe, but you don’t feel safe in which case that is a bear because somewhere culturally, you haven’t been nurtured or invited or welcomed into that space. So it isn’t necessarily a common ground for everybody.

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

While we won’t get into a lot of details on barriers of access. In this episode, I encourage you to find our miniseries from last year, see us outside there. You can learn more about barriers from the lift experiences of women, of color and leaders who serve you through outdoor programs. And actually those are the same types of programs that will benefit big time from the outdoor future. So let’s get to it. What is an equity fund and what is the outdoor future? Jessica will guide us through these questions.

Jessica Loya:

The outdoor future is an initiative started by Nuestra Tierra conservation project, where they convened a set of core members that include organizations like native women’s, wilderness, outdoor Afro, continental divide, trail coalition, and many others who wanted to build on the momentum that many of our communities and organizations have been building to find solutions to the outdoor equity challenges that are various different communities, whether urban or rural are facing in getting our youth and families outdoors. And so one of those solutions is the creation of what folks are calling outdoor equity funds, uh, which, you know, we have the New Mexico state outdoor equity fund, which is the first state outdoor equity fund to provide state funds, to be distributed via grants, to local organizations, um, municipal governments, tribal entities, to help to alleviate some of the costs that come with outdoor engagement, whether that’s gear or transportation or staffing to plan and implement and get kids outside. And so New Mexico led the charge, but we’ve seen similar efforts be successful in the state of California. And most recently this summer in the state of Colorado. And so the outdoor future initiative is seeking to build upon that local community momentum and call for the creation of a national outdoor equity fund.

Laura Flores:

So my name is Laura Flores. Um, I use she her pronouns. I am a teacher here in Albuquerque, um, Albuquerque public schools, and am a program coordinator for Latino Outdoors.

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

Laura has been the recipient of one of the NM Outdoor Equity Grants to organize events for familias via Latino Outdoors. Naturally, I wanted to hear about her experience.

Laura Flores:

It’s I, I love it. I actually love the feedback as a volunteer. It makes every hour worth it. So I have parents calling me, thanking me and, um, and the other three Latino outdoors volunteers saying that it was an incredible experience. Not only for them, but for their kid, right. Their kid can’t stop talking about the birds that they saw or the hike that we went on, or maybe even the friend that they made while they were going on the hike, something that they weren’t really allowed to do during COVID because we were all at home. Mm. So, so hearing it from, from youth, you know, from kids who are out just saying like, this is way better than a video game, that’s one of my favorites. Yeah. And then, and then hearing it from adults too is saying like, wow, I didn’t realize that the Petly were in my backyard. I didn’t realize that this was so close. And now I think I wanna do this every weekend with my kids. You know, even if they don’t get out every weekend, it’s, it’s a seed that’s been planted and now they want to continue going outside. We have grown even since then, you know, as far as participants, as far grown as leaders. So the comments just continue coming in, the experiences are just getting richer. Oh, that

Gabaccia Moreno:

Like just warms my heart to hear

Laura Flores:

<laugh>

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

To help paint the picture of how the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. could become a reality, I asked Jessica for a mini civics lesson on what the legislative process is like.

Jessica Loya:

In this case, the outdoor future act would seek to find a solution to the limited funding. Mm-hmm <affirmative> that is available to engage youth and their families, outdoors, senators, Henri’s staff. And our initiative is forward to introducing that bill in the near future. And so once that bill is introduced, it opens an opportunity for other members of Congress and, you know, whether senators or members or house of representative members from across the country to look upon that piece of legislation, that solution <affirmative> and say, I agree, and their agreeance can come in the form of co-sponsorship at the very beginning or, you know, they could present alternatives or feedback in edits. And all of that inform is gathered, uh, and brought before a discussion at a committee hearing within both chambers the house and the Senate. And so, uh, that original piece of legislation can go through multiple iterations of, um, language and edits and feed back enhancements, et cetera, et cetera, until consensus is made. It is voted upon to either enhance, enhance forward or to, to stop it where it currently exists. And so our hope is that we receive support to bring that act for, for a full chamber of Congress in the Senate and the house, and receive a passing vote.

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

That’s not even close to the end of the process, but I wanted to call out that a passing vote can take months or even years to achieve. Furthermore, the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. could also follow another route, as Jessica explains.

Jessica Loya:

This piece of legislation could be, uh, combined into a larger what is called a package, um, which would be a package of different pieces of legislation that are brought up brought forward as part of a larger vote. And then if it receives, uh, a passing vote from both the house and the Senate, then it is passed over to the president’s desk. And the president is, has the moment of signing, um, that bill. And we would hope that in any package it’s included in that the president would sign, um, the outdoor future act into law. And once it’s law, uh, that’s where the real work begins, where we set up the actual infrastructure of a fund. And when we can begin to sure that those federal dollars can start to reach communities, uh, via their grant making cycles,

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

We’ll be back after a short break to learn about the challenges of working within systems that have failed us and how the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. team is approaching the co-creation of this legislation.

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

No work is ever devoid of challenges. And the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. Initiative has very unique ones, internally as much as externally. As you’ll hear, a lot of it comes down to being true to ourselves. We’ll hear again from Teresa, Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition,

Teresa Martinez:

There’s no roadmap. We don’t have like, Hey, let’s do it like these people did it, it doesn’t exist. We’re creating that. So I think that’s the challenge is trying to be really good and intentional and communicating about how we create just enough S but not too much structure that we end up falling into all the behaviors we already, you know, we all come from a traditional space. We know what that system looks like and trying not to fall back into those behaviors that ultimately are what we’re trying to fight and break down. Right. That systemic piece. And so, you know, I think that’s the challenge is being also to what we just said, you know, that we can’t wait. So we feel, I think the pressure of every second we miss, you know, we are in, this is a second we’re and we haven’t gotten legislation, or we don’t have, it is a second that we are not able to get more kids outdoors. And so, which means yet one more day that we don’t have a collective, you know, we’re not moving really actively towards that future that we all envision. And so I think trying to balance that pressure with also the space of saying it’s okay, <laugh> like,

Gabaccia Moreno:

Right. Like, yeah, like we need to, to do it slower, but better versus trying to get it done and not

Teresa Martinez:

Be authentic. Right. Or, or make huge mistakes or break trust, or ruin relationships. Mm-hmm <affirmative> because we fall back into that pattern of somebody else’s how somebody else defines success versus how we’re defining success. Right. And so, um, I think that’s the challenge that it’s just never been done before and, or led by people like us, you know? Yeah. <laugh>, you know, we’re, and, and we’re the, you know, our communities are the ones that are gonna benefit the most. So it’s just that opportunity. And, um, and yet I think the coolest thing about it, which is the opportunity is that those of us who are part of this whole initiative, whether it’s on the periphery or right in the middle of it, like we all have such talent, like, and it’s not necessarily like, you know, I have X, Y, Z PhD degrees or whatever, mm-hmm <affirmative> I’m blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It’s more that we just show up as humans with a desire to lend whatever skills and strength we have together to build something that is collectively is empowered because of the, the, the talent and, and heart and passion that we all the humanness that we also bring to the table.

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

I’ve been sitting with the word humanness ever since I had this conversation with Teresa, because it is true that showing up as humans is not very welcome in most professional spaces, but I want to call it out because I believe that within the outdoor future initiative, the coalition has been able to defy that traditional professionalism and create a safer space that allows people to work from the heart.

Gabaccia Moreno:

I always think of it as a little utopia, right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> because it doesn’t, there’s no other space where we can come together and cry, laugh, and call each other out and in, and, you know, uh, nurture each other and hold space and hold silence and, and, and share those intersections of the personal and the professional and the personal and the systemic. And that I think is a really be beautiful, sacred space that we’ve been able to create together. I think,

Teresa Martinez:

Yeah. I, I totally agree. And I think that’s, I think I love the way you put that, that it’s a sacred space, because I do think that that’s, what’s so different about it, right? Is that it isn’t totally, it isn’t stripped of the humanity. And I feel like the more, I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, I was just at a conference this week, you know, and I was on a panel and someone asked, you know, well, you know, how do we do X, Y, Z, when, when you design a trail and I’m like, you know, trails one first we’ve had trails forever. You know, animals have them. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> indigenous people without trails, like trails are not like anything new, it’s just today’s society. You know, we we’ve applying sign. And a lot of this like very, you know, straightforward mentality around trails, but what trails are, is they’re just connectors.

Teresa Martinez:

Right? And they just connect us to culture, to community, to each other, to, from sidewalks, they connect us to our, you know, our home, our homes to, you know, something like the con abide trail that connects across a continent. But the point I was telling this person was like, I feel like the problem is that when you build a trail, that’s just step one. It’s the culture that comes around that it’s actually the more, the more important work. And it’s sacred to realize that we’re, we’re dealing with that is just step one, into creating a community like trail development is community development. And when you think about it in that space, you realize what is community, it’s how we connect to one another. It’s how we relate to one another. It’s how we show up as humans. And I think for so long, you know, outdoor fields and outdoor recreation and outdoor companies have really focused on the very transactional physical space and not really thought about all the other stuff.

Teresa Martinez:

So all of, you know, when we talk about our, the work that we do or the way we relate to one another, I think we’re finding the safety and just being human and not using these, you know, the language of white supremacy. So to speak these big words that no one else understands, unless you, you know, have all the education in, or like in a meeting when we can show up for the first 20 minutes and just be like, can we just, I’m having a bad day? And can I just share that with you? Cause I feel safe professionally. Like it’s so uncommon to be in a professional space where you’re actually emotional and you show up as almost your full self and the freedom of being able to, to show up as your full self, even though we’re talking about something like legislation, right. Which is very, you know, like a trail, it’s very transactional. Sure. <laugh>, there’s these words and it has very

Gabaccia Moreno:

Inaccesible

Teresa Martinez:

Words. Yeah, exactly.

Gabaccia Moreno:

Uh, you’ll need a translator for it.

Teresa Martinez:

Exactly. Thank you very much. Maya Herman, exactly. That, that at the same time, you know, when we can have that moment to de de to strip ourselves of all that, not that noise that we sort of live within every day to have that freedom to just be like, oh, I don’t have to, I don’t have any F odds. I don’t have any, I’m not creating, you know, the walls around me to protect me in this world. I have to negotiate every single day with all of its things, just as a human, not even as a, a person of color, just as a human, you know, you show up and like, don’t, don’t laugh too loud. Don’t smile too big. Don’t, you know, don’t make that weird comment. You know, whatever, <laugh>, don’t wear bright collars on the trail. Exactly. Don’t be weird or whatever, you know, we can show up in that space and that, and that’s so sacred and it’s so worth protecting, but I think it’s also, it’s what happens at dinner tables, you know, it’s family.

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

If you caught that we dropped a name mid-conversation, we were talking about Maya Herman, who serves as Legislative Assistant to Senator Martin Heinrich, and who has been a wonderful ally coaching and helping translate all the legislative language for our coalition from day one. [Music Transition] Like Teresa said at the top of the episode, the moment cannot wait. The moment needs to happen now when youth from communities that have been historically and deliberately excluded from meaningful experiences outdoors, can finally enjoy the benefits of the outdoors. For every member of the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. Initiative, the work is personal. And each member also has their own experiences, their own ideas around equity, and their own reasons why they are doing this work. For me, I have first-hand experience of the huge positive impact that growing up close to nature in diverse ways provides, and after waking up in a world where not every child has that opportunity, I cannot sit with my privilege and not do something to make sure everyone else has it too – even if they don’t want it, I want kids to know they can have fun outside, they can learn outside, they can find a purpose outside, and they belong outside too – but more importantly I want them to understand their place in this world and how connected all living beings are – because I trust that when we all know this, we build better relationships, better communities, and ultimately, a better world. I asked Teresa, Laura and Jessica, why this work is important to them too. Here’s what Teresa shared:

Teresa Martinez:

Well, you know, I think, I think for me, it’s just that, you know, the next time there’s a young brown woman, um, like myself, I was 18 when I stepped on the et, well, actually I’d been on the et before, but I didn’t know it was et, but the first time I stepped on and knowingly and I fell in love when I discovered that I could walk to Maine or I could walk to Georgia from where I was standing and that I could steward this amazing trail, the amazing Appalachian trail at that time, it started a love affair that I had had to til today. And, and today I’m now an executive director of a, a nonprofit that manages a continental Levi trail, which just blows my mind. And so for me, it’s important to make sure that not only does the next time a, a, you know, an 18 year old brown, young woman who steps foot on a trail, see a future that she doesn’t even quite, it means, but she sees a way, uh, that, that her footsteps are valuable and, and she’s invited and welcome to move, move down that path that she has that opportunity.

Teresa Martinez:

And she doesn’t have to go through the things that I’ve had to go through to be here. You know, she may face other challenges mm-hmm <affirmative>, but she won’t face the same ones because we’ve, we’ve addressed them.

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

Laura Flores from Latino Outdoors, echoes a lot of Teresa’s thoughts. And she also adds a very important point:

Laura Flores:

Even if it isn’t something they wanna pursue as a career, it’s something that they hold in their heart and, you know, and they still love the land and they share that love with the land. Um, it’s okay to recreate the way that we, as, you know, as a, as a culture, but this is also how we make sure that we, we keep it the, the way that we found it.

Gabaccia Moreno:

Totally. And that’s, and that’s a great point too, because I think a lot of people think that to be a land steward, you need to have some sort of job, and that’s not true. Like anyone can be a land steward, whether that’s something you wanna do or is something that you just wanna do, because it feels right for you to do

Laura Flores:

Absolutely

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

For environmental policy consultant, Jessica Loya, this work is rooted in a family.

Gabaccia Moreno:

Why is it important for you to work towards an equitable outdoors?

Jessica Loya:

For me, I wake up every day, thousands of miles away from my family because I live in Washington DC and my family lives in Los Angeles, California. And especially over the last two years of this pandemic, that distance has felt even more, further apart. The question of why do I stay and do the work of policy engagement around outdoor access conservation equity land justice always raises to my mind, and I do it because I wanna make sure that my family who currently resides in downtown Los Angeles, that they have an opportu to have a meaningful experience outside and relieve themselves of the stress of their daily lives. I think about my nieces and my nephews, who I hope learn that sit COAs and redwoods are things to look upon with amazing glazed eyes of just how wonderful and beautiful they are, but also, um, to learn about, you know, how they are critically important to our environmental infrastructure and how they are an important part of climate resiliency and, um, that we should be doing everything in our power to protect them. Um, not just so that we can continue to look upon them and enjoy their beauty, but also to see ourselves as intricately connected to each other’s livelihoods,

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

Looking into the future might be scary, never before have we, as a collective, looked at our systems with such critical eyes or gained a deep understanding of the systemic inequities that affect a majority of people in the United States, from low income families, to families of color, to indigenous families, to families who live with disabilities and beyond, but because we not only get to look into it, but we get to shape it to wrap up on a high note, I ask our interviewee to share their hopes for the outdoor future. Both the legislation and the actual future

Laura Flores:

Grants will be accessed by all states, nonprofits and sovereign nations. It’ll serve low income youth. And, you know, particularly those young people who are of color and in rural areas and, and really just continue you to do what we’ve been talking about is, is creating those stewards of the land, educating them about climate and the climate and environment creating, um, potential jobs for the future creating. Um, I mean, even if it isn’t jobs creating, just love for the land, getting them outside, getting them to be active.

Jessica Loya:

It’s a long road ahead of us in this legislative campaign. However, as I like to say in Washington, DC are created by communities. And so as long as the outdoor future act and the outdoor future initiative, its members and its partners continue to push and build the political momentum and every day Americans and members of our communities, citizens, or not speak up and say that they would like to see this solution, the outdoor future act as the future of outdoor recreation, youth and engagement, and really a future in which a nation makes a statement that the outdoors should be equitable.

Teresa Martinez:

The outdoor future for me is not just this, you know, we have equitable access, everyone who wants to experience nature and the outdoors has an opportunity and avenue to do that in a way that, that acknowledges and recognizes and honors the diversity while also creating an inviting space and the literacy of just what nature is and how it provides for us, everything from our spiritual and physical wellbeing is actually those connections are made. So for me, that Al future is, you know, that true understanding of how deeply connected spiritually and physically and emotionally we are to nature and how we need that across all the different aspects of our society.

Gabaccia Moreno – Narration:

Thank you to Teresa Martinez, Jessica Loya, and Laura Flores for taking the time to talk. Follow along with the Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. on instagram @outdoorfuture This was the last of 6 episodes I hosted for the She Explores host residency this year. Stay tuned for future conversations, or in the meantime hit me up via instagram (at) gabaccia. You can find She Explores on social media, our website, and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you enjoy listening, there are different ways to support us. You can subscribe, leave a review, and share with a friend. And if you’d like to connect, join us in the She Explores podcast facebook group! That’s a place where the community shows up with resources for each other all the time. Music in this episode is licensed through MusicBed. This episode was produced and edited by me, Gabaccia Moreno with support from Gale Straub. She Explores is a production of Ravel Media released bi-weekly. Until next year, stay curious.

Gale Straub:

Stay handy. I know it’s always, no matter what it’s nerve-wracking, even if it’s like, this is casual and short <laugh>,

Gabaccia Moreno:

We’ve done this so much this year <laugh>

Gale Straub:

Oh, so, uh, we’re wrapping up a year, working together. How are you feeling?

Gabaccia Moreno:

I cannot believe the year is over in a way. I feel like we just started this. And in another way, I feel like we’ve been doing this forever.

Gale Straub:

<laugh> well, we did get started, uh, in November, uh, of 2020 was see us outside. So it true. It feels the same way for me. I’d love to hear a little bit about, you know, what you learned through this experience.

Gabaccia Moreno:

I learned so much cuz when we did see us outside, it was mostly me like hosting and writing narration and trying to know help being weave things together. But now with the residency, I was immersed in like more of the production side of things and learning to edit and learning, to manage a lot of the aspects of producing, uh, an episode on my own, but also obviously always with your support and, and the team. And it was just so fun to be able to do that in this space and feeling that support.

Gale Straub:

Well, I can say I learned a lot too. Uh, I learned where my strengths are as a teacher and like where I need room for improvement. I learned a whole lot about fly fishing and hunting that I never would’ve known before. And I’m really grateful for that. I’m grateful for all the people that you introduced me to and, and the listeners to you through this, it’s been really enriching. Is there anything that you’d like to, to share or say to the she explores listeners?

Gabaccia Moreno:

Yeah. I mean, I just wanna say thank you you for tuning to these episodes, I know that we introduced some topics that haven’t really been covered in the show in the past. And I feel like the community was really open and supportive in learning about those things that are ways to be in the outdoor that perhaps are not always so represented as part of the outdoor industry that was just really refreshing to see the response. And yeah, it is just been great to connect with different people that have reached out after an episode. And we’ve been able to continue those conversations, you know, on Instagram or sometimes even over the phone and sometimes even in person. And so it’s just been a, a wonderful way to connect with this community more,

Gale Straub:

You know, that’s, that’s the beauty of this show is, is all of the voices, all the experiences. So thank you. Thank you so much Gabaccia. I feel like I’ve said it so many times, but, and I also feel thankful that if all goes according to plan, you know, this isn’t the last time that we’ll work together. It’s not the last time that the listeners will hear from you. So feeling grateful that this relationship will continue and we’ll get to hear more from you in 2022.

Gabaccia Moreno:

Ah, no, thank you so much. I, you know, I feel the same way. I think gratitude is the word that I would pay just to describe this experience because I feel like hugged <laugh>, you know, by, by you all. And for, for me, uh, just a year ago, I didn’t really know anything about podcasting or sound or sound editing. And now how I feel like I have this skill added to my toolkit, that I am excited to continue use in the future. And it’s all thanks to you guys for seeing me and hearing me and, and giving me this great opportunity.

Gale Straub:

Aw, thank you. So with that said, you know, beyond She Explores, is there anywhere that you would like to share that we might hear you through headphones next year?

Gabaccia Moreno:

Ooh. Yeah, definitely. I’m working with, or the organization I work for with Strat conservation project and we are planning on relaunching a podcast. They used to have one and because you know, life gets in the way it’s busy creating a podcast is a lot of work <laugh> and so they haven’t had the capacity to continue it. But with this skill that now I have, I’m excited to bring that back to life and getting conversation with people in the conservation movement and potentially really focused on national monuments campaigns that are happening right now. And so that will be fun cuz then everyone can be part of the upcoming national monuments that we’ll get established in our country. Ah, oh,

Gale Straub:

That sounds incredible. Something to look forward to and uh, we’ll be shared as share it here when it, when it is out and available to listen to. Oh, thank you so much. Is there anything else that you wanna share?

Gabaccia Moreno:

Just another, thank you. Thank you to the team at Ravel, thank you to the listeners. Thank you to every guest. I feel like it’s been really powerful to hold space for people’s stories and it’s taught me so much about myself and my relationships to just sit and, and listen and then finding the best way to honor are those stories. And so, yeah, another big, big, thank you.

Gale Straub:

Oh, well you’re very, very welcome to everyone listening out there. She explorers will be back in January. We’re hoping for the first week of January. So keep your ears out for that. And in the meantime, have a very happy new year. So as of right now, we likely won’t be renewing this residency in 2022, but I will make sure to fill everyone in. If that changes really it has to do with whether or not we have the budget for it and at a current, thanks just to look really uncertain for next year. But all that to say, we will be backing in your feeds. Like I said, first week of January with a new episode until then enjoy the holidays, have a happy new year. And if it’s feasible, I hope you’re able to take some time to step outside. You deserve it.

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