People. Nature. Big Ideas.
A New Podcast from TPL

Trust for Public Land Equity and Belonging Director Ronda Lee Chapman invites you to listen in on thought-provoking conversations that explore our human connection with the natural environment—and how those connections influence culture, the arts, joy, and healing, all while building resilient and vibrant communities.

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Episode 11 - Intersectional Environmentalism with Pattie Gonia 

Pack your six-inch heels, because it’s Pride month on People. Nature. Big Ideas!  Ronda is joined by Pattie Gonia, a critically acclaimed drag queen, environmentalist, and advocate for inclusivity and diversity in the outdoors. The two discuss making music videos with Yo Yo Ma, climbing mountains with six-inch heels, what it was like to grow up gay in Nebraska, and the confluence of nature, art, and advocacy.

Pattie Gonia:

Won’t Give Up Video

Episode 10 - ParkScore & A Bridge to Elevate Communities

It’s ParkScore day! Ronda discusses her impressions of this year’s ParkScore release, and then is joined by Scott Kratz, Building Bridges Across the River Senior Vice President & 11th Street Bridge Park Director, to discuss the 11th Street Bridge Park—DC’s first elevated park—a repurposed freeway that is quickly becoming a bridge between two very different communities.

Episode Nine - Outdoors for All Part 3 - Day on the Hill

In this final episode of the Outdoors for All three-part podcast series, Ronda joins TPL’s annual Day on the Hill event in Washington, DC, where she talks with lawmakers, advocates, TPL staff, and journalists, about how these kinds of bills get created, passed, and what kind of impact they can have on communities across the US.

Episode Eight - Outdoors for All, Part 2 - Tribal Land Return + Conservation

In this second episode in our three-part series on the Outdoors for All Act, Ronda is joined by Dr. Darren Ranco and Charles Loring Jr. of Penobscot Nation, and TPL’s own Ken Lucero, TPL’s Tribal and Indigenous Lands program, to discuss self-determination, tribal sovereignty and land return, the benefits of indigenous knowledge, and TPL’s role in the Wáhsehtəkʷ project, which restores nearly 30,000 acres to the Penobscot Nation.

Episode Seven - Outdoors for All, Part 1 - Community Impact in Cleveland

In this first episode in our three-part series on the Outdoors for All Act, Ronda is joined by Erika Hood, one of the co-founders of SYATT (See You at the Top), based in East Cleveland, whose mission is to support its community through culturally relevant programming in the natural and built environment, and Sean Terry, TPL’s Associate Vice President, Ohio State Director, who will share the importance of being in relationship with community groups like SYATT, their exciting collaboration to transform a local park and why the outdoors is so vital in creating more accessible, health-supporting and resident-friendly spaces.

Episode Six - A Walk in the Woods

In late January, People. Nature. Big Ideas. host Ronda Lee Chapman was feeling a little stuck on how the podcast should cover Black History Month. Stuck in her feelings. Stuck in her thinking. So what better way for Ronda to think, reflect, and get unstuck, than to get out into nature and take a walk in the woods.

In this reflection episode, Ronda unpacks her thoughts around Black History Month, Black futures, the importance of rest and reflection, sitting with discomfort, and what it means to celebrate history while also keeping an eye to the future.

“Black history is also this moment. We don’t always have to be [looking] in the rearview mirror. We need to honor it. We need to respect it… But I also don’t want us to forget about the future. We need to be thinking many generations ahead.”

Episode Five - Land, Power, and Self-Determination with Naomi Davis and Anton Seals Jr. 

Today on People. Nature. Big Ideas., we’re talking about Self-Determination and the challenges around how communities and individuals are able to shape their economic, cultural, and social futures. To dig into this important topic, we’re joined by Naomi Davis, founder of the Blacks in Green (BIG™), and TPL’s newest National Board member Anton Seals Jr., founder of Grow Greater Englewood.

In this wide-ranging conversation, Naomi, Anton and Ronda discuss how their organizations connect Black residents and communities to nature, food, sustainability, energy, and climate, while creating pathways for economic enterprise.

Episode Four - Outdoor Access and Disabilities with Alysa Morley

Join us in a heartfelt conversation with Alysa Morley. Working in the marketing department at Trust for Public Land (TPL), Alysa’s personal experiences resonate deeply with the essence of outdoor inclusivity. During childhood, she observed the world play without her, shaping her perspective on the necessity of accessible nature spaces. While advocacy might not be her job title, her journey and the synergy with TPL’s mission have profound implications for those seeking access and representation in the great outdoors. Dive into topics of education, gratitude, and the true meaning of embracing one’s disability and “going for it,” as Alysa and Ronda explore the intersections of people, nature, and groundbreaking ideas.

Episode Three - “We Are the Big Ideas!” with Jeresneyka Rose and Chris Urias

More and more, people of color are being recognized for the variety of ways they step forward to engage with their communities. Whether it’s to help design and build community parks as we’ll discuss in this episode—or, as in our first episode with Tykee James, to apply outdoor activities such as birding as ways to build connections between civil rights history and the Black experience. There are all sorts of unique and exciting ways folks of color are bringing their unique perspectives and backgrounds to help inform the future of conservation.

To talk through these ideas, host Ronda Lee Chapman welcomes Jeresneyka Rose and Chris Urias, two CORE fellows at TPL (CORE stands for Community Outreach with Resident Experts). These two are talented. They’re activists and community leaders. They’re fresh. And they are people of color. Not to put too much pressure on these two individuals, but we think, in their hearts and spirits—and in their love for their communities—they reflect the direction that conservation is, and should be, going.

Episode Two - Discovery and Love with Mickey Fearn

In this second installment of the new TPL podcast, host Ronda Lee Chapman talks with parks, recreation, and conservation professional Mickey Fearn about the interplay of nature and community, being the “weird” kids who sought the sanctuary of the woods and wetlands, the role of Black neighborhoods and their proximity to nature, and how racism and poverty require new approaches to build lasting and meaningful relationships with the outdoors.

Episode One - Birding with Tykee James

In this, our first episode, host Ronda Lee Chapman talks with Tykee James, government affairs coordinator at the National Audubon Society. The two discuss the joys of birding and how Tykee came to cofound Black Birders Week. They also explore the topics of activism and coalition-building in the “Freedom Birders” movement, the sticky roots of conservation, how many birds Ronda really knows (more than she thinks), and their experiences navigating the outdoors as people of color.

Intro - What’s the Podcast About?

This podcast is designed to be a rich forum for conversation on how we move forward—towards a more inclusive and representative outdoor community—together. How are we going to rethink conservation? How do we encourage investments and engagement in nature for our communities? My hope is that this podcast can also be a vehicle to raise community voices—to offer a platform to talk about the valuable work that these individuals and communities are doing. I want to talk about the triumphs. I want to talk about challenges and celebrations. And I want to talk about the ways that TPL shows up in communities, how we show up in solidarity, in support, and learn where and what we might do better.
Ronda Lee Chapman

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Produced in collaboration with Pretty Good Productions