Stories Through Nature: Equity
Written by Evelyn; October 9, 2020
Ever since I was little, I’ve had a love for learning. Cousins and friends would question me as I learned the multiplication tables on weekends and had extra books for fun. Although it may look different today, my love for learning is still relevant. In my current writing seminar, I have been learning about disability studies. It’s really interesting to delve deep into a topic I had no experience in and learn how my identity and my position in society can affect disabled individuals. One of the assignments in my class is writing a paper on disability studies and another topic of my choosing. I chose green spaces and nature. After reading a novel (Feminist, Queer, Crip by Alison Kafer) and doing research, it’s consistently shown how disabled individuals have been marginalized from nature — from the stereotypical “fit” body to assuming parks are dangerous to simply not extending opportunities. Studies have also shown that spending time in nature decreases stress levels and increases confidence. Before taking this class and participating in the Youth Forest Council internship, I assumed nature was accessible to everyone — it's nature! But time and time again, I have been exposed to the work we as a society still have to do in order to create equitable access to green spaces. What can you contribute to equity in nature?
Stories Through Nature is a project of the 2020 Youth Forest Council. You can learn more about the program at www.austintexas.gov/youthforest.