When people find out I grew up in Colorado oftentimes they proceed to ask me about my experience with skiing, snow sports or hiking as a child. While my family would definitely go on road trips and admire the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, we did not grow up doing an "intense" mountain sport every weekend or summer. I think this is partially what inspires me to lift up and celebrate the seemingly mundane or less dramatic experiences of the outdoors.
Through systemic and social barriers, not everyone has access to national or state parks in the same way. Beyond working to remove these barriers, I think acknowledging the validity of walking to school, riding a bike through an urban neighborhood or even just stopping to watch some birds pecking around a bus stop is so important. Nature is not just in our parks or dramatic Instagram posts, it's in the small things we see everyday, even in city centers.