Welcome to I’ll Go If You Go, a Save the Redwoods League podcast. Through conversations with Black, Indigenous, and POC who explore and work in the outdoors, we’re building community and illuminating how Californians from all walks of life experience nature and conservation, in the redwoods and beyond
To Build a Trail—and the community that follows
23:52In Episode 6, the final episode of Season 3, host Emily Harwitz talks to Agnes Vianzon (she/they), the founder and Executive Director of Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps (ESCC) and a first-generation, queer filipinx. They founded ESCC in 2017, starting with an initial all-women crew, and the organization has served over 100 alumni and counting. ESCC is changing the demographics of outdoor stewardship and parks employment and visitation while providing jobs for young people who want to experience working in the outdoors. Emily talks to Agnes about the importance of building community and capacity for outdoor spaces, plus the magic of trail building: not only does it bring together the crews who work on them, but the trails remain a lasting connection between those crew members and anyone who experiences the trail forevermore. Links: Eastern Sierra Conservation CorpsESCC on Instagram --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/savetheredwoods/message
Trek long and prosper
21:58In episode 5, host Emily Harwitz chats with Michelle Warren, the Vice President and Co-founder of Black Girls Trekkin Inc. (BGT). BGT is a Los Angeles based 501c3 nonprofit for Black women who choose to opt outside. BGT seeks to inspire and empower Black women to spend time outdoors, appreciate nature, and protect it. BGT is building a community that will show the world that Black women are a strong and present force in the outdoors. Emily and Michelle talk about BGT’s origin story, how to build and nurture community, and the importance of affinity spaces in the outdoors. Michelle has a bachelor’s in marine biology and a master’s in biology with an emphasis on community-based conservation. She also has professional experience creating and facilitating nature-based programs for kids and adults. Tiffany Tharpe, CEO and Co-Founder of BGT, was unable to make it for this podcast conversation, but we felt her presence nonetheless. Tiffany holds a BA in English and works as a Veterinary Assistant. She is passionate about this planet and the animals and plants that call it home, as well as building community and inspiring others to care for the planet. Her favorite outdoor activity is challenging herself to face her fears in the outdoors and trying anything at least once. Visit Black Girls Trekkin’ website Follow Black Girls Trekkin on Instagram Follow I'll Go If You Go Podcast on Instagram --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/savetheredwoods/message
Out with Outlandish!
23:30Episode 4’s guest is Max Sovine (they/them). Max works at Queer LifeSpace, a San Francisco-based non-profit providing mental health services for the queer community, where they just launched the new project Outlandish! which will bring queer youth out into awesome parks and recreational areas in the Bay Area. Max has a master’s degree in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). Drawing from their experiences as an outdoor educator, death doula, hospice volunteer, firefighter, and EMT, they focused on ways to confront and change the Western capitalist aversion to nature and death. Max also coordinates retreats at the Buddhist Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Host Emily Harwitz chats with Max about coming into oneself outdoors, what it means to be liminal, what the new Outlandish! program is doing, and more. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/savetheredwoods/message
The Girl with the Redwood Tattoos
19:00Episode 3’s guest is Kathryn Luna who builds community and partnerships at the outdoors retailer Mountain Hardwear. She’s also on the Board of Directors at GirlVentures, a non-profit that inspires girls to lead through outdoor adventure, inner discovery, and collective action. Host Emily Harwitz talks to Kathryn about her relationship to the outdoors, including: starting young, the safety of exploring in community, and passing that on to others through the work she’s doing now. They also chat about coming from mixed cultural backgrounds and what we can learn from nature’s ecotones—where two ecosystems meet to mix and blend. Links: GirlVentures: https://www.girlventures.org/ Kathryn Luna’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kllunaa Kathryn Luna’s website: https://www.kathrynluna.com/ IGIYG’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/illgoifyougopod/ --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/savetheredwoods/message
Have no fear, the gals are here!
26:23In episode 2, Host Emily Harwitz chats with Monica Binetti and Erin Closmore about how they started the hiking community Bay Area Galventures, beginning with Monica overcoming her fear of the outdoors and her dear friend Erin moving back to the Bay Area. Amongst the redwood trees, Monica has discovered that she is more than her corporate job, 2 kids, and busy city life—she is connected to herself and Mother Nature, and believes that everyone deserves to find their own personal connection with the outdoors just like she did. Erin is a nature enthusiast who adores dogs and is always looking to try the next best vegetarian food spot. Together, Monica & Erin are the co-creators of @bayarea.galventures, an Instagram page dedicated to inspiring others to explore the natural beauty of California and beyond. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/savetheredwoods/message
Conservation: now in technicolor!
20:02In the season 3 premiere, host Emily Harwitz (she/her) chats with Alanna Smith (she/her) about Alanna’s evolution as a conservationist and finding her niche within the conservation movement. Alanna is the Parks Program Associate at Save the Redwoods League, where she focuses on facilitating equitable public access to redwood parks. Passionate about building community in the outdoors, she co-leads the newly formed Northern California chapter of Conservationists of Color. Find Alanna on Instagram at @lannafsmith. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/savetheredwoods/message
Brown is a beautiful color
26:06We’ve explored many ways to play in the redwoods this season. What resonates most, beyond any single activity, is the relationships formed and fortified—with one another, with the outdoors, and with one another in the outdoors. In this season’s finale, beneath the redwoods in Oakland, Grace Anderson (she/her) and Mo Asebiomo (they/she) embody Black joy (spontaneous laughter alert!), the expansive meaning of playing outside (cloud watching or an adrenaline-pumping bike ride, choose your own adventure), and the powerful affirmation that comes from affinity and resilient friendships. Let’s play! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/savetheredwoods/message
When the river meets the sea
26:06In the northern reaches of the California coast, Yurok Country is home to the state’s largest federally recognized tribal nation. On a brisk morning here in Redwood National Park, Yurok Tribe member Josh Norris invited us to paddle down the Klamath River in ‘ohl-we’-yoch, a traditional Yurok canoe carved from a fallen redwood trunk. He shares about the anatomy of “the boat of the people,” how the river has transformed over generations, and reimagining education and community development while revitalizing and preserving Yurok culture. Book a canoe ride at visityurokcountry.com/canoes. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/savetheredwoods/message
"Skate slow and live"
21:14Skateboarding in the redwoods might seem unconventional, but it’s a thing. The nonprofit Skate Like a Girl (SLAG) hosts a sleepaway skate camp for women, trans, and nonbinary skaters—in the middle of Sequoia National Forest. We skated with SLAG in Santa Cruz and from the skate park ventured into the Forest of Nisene Marks with squad members Sam Mercado, Jai Ledesma, and Kim Woozy to talk skateboarding, nature, and building inclusive community. Turns out skate culture has some things in common with the redwood forest. Both inspire joy, resilience, and a sense of belonging. Visit skatelikeagirl.com to register for programs, including Women + Trans Skate Camp from August 8-12 or 15-19, 2022 (two sessions, registration opens May 7, 2022). Music by Wavebreaker. Follow Save the Redwoods League on Instagram @savetheredwoods --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/savetheredwoods/message
Bird is the word
25:26Oakland’s Lake Merritt may be a few miles from the nearest redwood forest, but this tidal slough is not only a bustling community space for locals, unhoused neighbors, artists, musicians, and roller skaters &mdash; it’s also a whole wildlife refuge abundant with native and migratory birds. For would-be birders, it’s a gateway. We went birding (aka birdwatching) right here with naturalist and artist Clay Anderson. Turns out he practiced both passions working many seasons at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Listen and learn about what it takes to be a birder, nature journaling, and birds of the redwoods. --- Guest Bio: Clayton Anderson is a Naturalist working in the field of Environmental Education for the past 15 years. Enchanted by the natural world and its history since he was a boy, becoming a Naturalist was a dream come true. After graduating from San Jose State University, he landed his first job as a Naturalist with LoveLife Environmental Education Program. Since then, Clay has worked for several environmental concerns including California State Parks, East Bay Regional Parks and Alameda Resource Conservation District. He is currently works for Golden Gate Audubon Society as the Youth Program Manager. When he is not introducing the youth to the magic of nature, he enjoys birding and creating art. Whether speaking through a microphone or painting with a brush, Clay loves the work he does and is always looking to promote and educate others about the wonders of the natural world and its cycles. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/savetheredwoods/message