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We were honored to welcome Rue Mapp to our annual conference of volunteers last week. Mapp is the founder of Outdoor Afro, a national social network that connects African American outdoor lovers to nature—and each other. 

Mapp launched Outdoor Afro as...

Blog

There’s something about time spent in nature that makes us feel better. Whether it’s a quick stroll around the block to think through a problem or a weekend in the wilderness to clear your head, you’ve probably experienced a boost just from getting outdoors. But why?

It’s a question that...

Blog

If you’ve ever explored a national park—especially one of the busier ones, like Yosemite or Yellowstone—you might have noticed all kinds of staff working to make your visit a good one: from the friendly face that greeted you at the entrance gate, to trail crews and firefighters, botanists and...

Blog

Tim Kovar is afraid of heights.

It wouldn’t be remarkable—most of us get a little nervous off the ground—except that Kovar makes a living teaching people how to climb trees. From the towering redwoods of the California coast to the steamy Amazon Basin, Kovar has introduced more than 10,...

Firewatch, by Campo Santo
Blog

No surprise for a bunch of park people, we’re usually the last to know about a new video game. We level up with a steep hike, and our idea of multiplayer is Frisbee on the grass. So when does the virtual world catch our eye? Well, when it looks like this:

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Kids play in a stream at Storymill Park
Blog

A decade ago, Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods sounded the alarm: our culture's increasing alienation from the natural world is taking a toll on our kids. In the wake of the book's success, Louv co-founded the Children & Nature Network—and this month, Louv released his...

Two men hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
Blog

If there’s anything we appreciate more than the Appalachian Trail, it’s the dedicated volunteers who maintain it. Jim Sullivan is one of them. In August of 2013, he was working on a stretch of the trail that runs through Stamford, Vermont, when he came across a “For Sale” sign in the trailhead...

Allemansratt Wilderness Park, Minnesota
Blog

The Swedes have a word with no English equivalent: allemansrätten, “every person’s right” to roam. It’s a celebrated Nordic tradition that allows anyone to cross private property—to hike, bike, even fish or pick berries—so long as they don’t disturb the owners and they care for the land...

Fireworks over a forest.
Blog

"New year, new you"—it’s easier said than done. Although most of us can think of changes we’d like to make in our lives (more time outdoors, anyone?), making good on resolutions can be a challenge. We start out with the best intentions, slack off by spring, and, come December, find ourselves...

Blog

The Trust for Public Land met Donna Kirkland at a community meeting back in 1996—she was full of big ideas, and we knew right away that we wanted her on our team. Today, she runs our Parks for People program in Newark, where she's earned a...

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