July Updates

Hi everyone! I’m over halfway through my internship and I can’t believe how quickly time has passed. I’ve just been chugging away at working on our urban refuge campaign and doing research for a paper.

First off, this urban campaign that I’m working on is an online campaign in which our team highlights the different urban refuges that are a part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. In this campaign, our team is aiming to highlight stories from people that experience and enrich these refuge. We are doing this through many different types of media including blog posts, Adobe Spark webpages, video interviews, and even podcasts. Before this internship, I’ve never heard of Adobe’s Spark software so if you haven’t heard of it either, here is an example that I created for a beloved refuge.

https://spark.adobe.com/page-embed.jsBayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge

My work for this campaign has been a lot of reaching out to interesting people to interview, writing, and even participating in some really interesting interviews. One of the interviews that I got a chance to participate in was with Loretta Pineda, the Executive Director of Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK). This particular organization is a non-profit that connects youth of the Denver community to nature through environmental education and outdoor experiences. It was very inspiring to hear about Loretta’s experiences and success stories. One takeaway that I had from the conversation that really resonated with me was when Loretta talked about the age group of youth that they work with. She talked about how they work with families. This is important because it makes it easier for people to benefit from this program. Kids usually don’t have a lot of autonomy over activities that they can do so when parents get to see the benefits first hand of a program like ELK, they’re much more likely to stay loyal to the ELK community.

Make sure to check out our podcast! It’s called Refuge Radio and is available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Anchor, and many other podcast platforms! Here is our first episode where the Urban Refuge team talks about the campaign.

Aside from working on the campaign, I’m doing a lot of research to put together a list of different initiatives and programs that connect urban communities to nature. I’ve been digging back into my course readings from the past semester and it’s been really interesting to be able to apply them. I truly do feel like the tools that I have gained from my first year have been helping me make a difference.

I can’t wait to see what else this summer has in store for me!