I read this wonderful article by @ in @ that instantly took me back to my childhood. Where staying outside until the streetlights were on was a normal occurrence and exploring the world around you was second nature.
Of course, times have changed and a majority of kids aren't the little explorers we were, at least in the "go outside and don't come back until the streetlights are on" way. But there's still ample opportunity, especially through our public lands and national parks that can encourage that same adventurous spirit. Yet, there isn't much diversity when you visit these areas. Teresa's explanation broke it down beautifully:
"To diversify the outdoors, we must first get to the heart of the issue: the history of our public lands, which have traditionally been getaways for the privileged. The founding of our national parks, for instance, pushed Native Americans off lands, some sacred, that they’d long inhabited. More recently, our parks were segregated.
Take Shenandoah National Park: In the 1930s, signs directed “Negroes” to one area, Lewis Mountain, while the rest of the park—tens of thousands of acres—was exclusively for white people. The rule was finally lifted in 1947, but it sent a message to African Americans that has lasted for generations: Public lands do not welcome you.
That legacy affects how African Americans view our place in the outdoors today. We tend not to venture out to the places that society has deemed “wild spaces,” like Yosemite. Staying closer to home offers a sense of safety that these faraway locations don’t."
So yes. Let's encourage our kids and take them out to explore, adventure, and appreciate the wild spaces.