Latino youth voices sharing positive experiences in nature are the driving force behind a new Spanish-language radio campaign Hispanic Communications Network (HCN) is launching in partnership with the U. S. Forest Service (USFS). The national radio campaign celebrates and promotes national forests, parks and other public lands as accessible places with outdoor adventures and events across hundreds of local communities in all 50 states.
The first phase of the campaign, which begins this month, includes the testimonies of two young Latino men - Luis and Emerson - whose lives were literally transformed by nature. Their inspirational stories lead the Spanish-speaking public to an online tool where they can locate nearby public lands and outdoor recreation activities by zip code at DescubreElBosque.org.
"HCN is excited to expand our alliance with the Forest Service through this initiative that connects Latino communities with adventures in forests, parks and public lands. These lands belong to all of us. They are accessible and affordable treasures that stimulate mental and physical health. Trips to public lands are also great low-cost alternatives for families who cannot spend hundreds of dollars at theme parks, and for families that want to create new memories and traditions through nature," said Alison Rodden, CEO of HCN.
National Public Lands Day, officially celebrated on September 24 this year, is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands projects that ensure sustainable ecosystems and promote vibrant communities. But thousands of local outdoor recreation events are ongoing throughout September and October. Activities offered include hiking, aquatics, cycling, camping, fishing, outdoor adventures and much more.
"The U. S. Forest Service is excited to share opportunities for all communities to visit their public lands on National Public Lands Day," said Dan Jirón, Forest Service Associate Chief. "We hope everyone will take this fee-free opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty and participate in stewardship and restoration activities on these lands that provide us all with clean air, clean water and many of the natural resources we need to survive."
During the month of October, the campaign will focus on President Barack Obama's initiative, "Every Kid in a Park," which invites all fourth grade students to get a free adventure pass to any national forest, park or other public land. The free adventure pass is valid for three adults as well.
As part of the President's initiative, the students are required to complete a brief diary of activities online via everykidinapark.gov/get-your-pass to get their pass and start adventures related to waterfalls, trees, walking trails, wildlife and much more.
DescubreElBosque.org brings outdoor events of all kinds closer to the Latino community. Locations that can be researched and accessed by zip code on the website include national forests, national and state parks, public parks, seashores, recreational areas, wildlife refuges, museums and visitor centers.
The DescubreElBosque.org radio campaign can be heard on Hispanic Communication Network's affiliate radio stations throughout September and October in more than 50 urban, mid-sized, rural and emerging US Hispanic media markets across the US.