Last weekend we had the opportunity to help organize and co-host a Fall Adventure event for families in the Rockwood neighborhood of Gresham, OR. The event was held in Nadaka Nature Park, a recently renovated urban park with a nature play area, accessible trails, and a community garden in the heart of one of the most diverse neighborhoods of the Portland metro area. Our friends from the City of Gresham, PGE Project Zero, Access Recreation, NW Family Daycation, and Teton Sports showed up to help us host a variety of fun fall themed family activities in Spanish and English.
Wox made an appearance thanks to Turtle Fur and Merrell’s sponsored Wander Walks. Families who tried an activity got their choice of Turtle Fur We’re Outdoorsy beanies. A variety of baby carriers were available for families to try out. We also handed out our bilingual Footprints workbooks, made possible by our partnership with Joules.
A hunt for Green Beard’s treasure with the Daycation app had families exploring nature with the help of their smartphones.
Access Recreation engaged families in a fun and creative packing and preparation challenge that got them thinking about the challenges of accessibility when adventuring as a multi-abled person.
PGE Project Zero shared pelts and nests from local wildlife to engage families in learning about how we can care for local habitat. City of Gresham helped share and promote the event around the neighborhood, provided the space, and sent Spanish speaking staff to help welcome bilingual families.
The Teton Sports team came all the way from Utah with rocks they hand painted (collected before we left to minimize impact) for a special scavenger hunt along the trail. Families who shared one of the rock’s messages about what we love about nature received a free backpack or hydration pack of their choice.
As adults, we all did the Wander Walk activities together. We may have been trying to stay warm, but we had a lot of fun too! My favorite was Animal Charades. Many people across a range of organizations worked together to pull this event off in a short amount of time and I am truly proud of the results. We were able to show up in an underserved community that’s rich with diversity and offer a welcoming and heartfelt invitation to empower families to Bring it Outside. We were able to show them We Got Your Back in a very real and tangible way. Many of our partners joined us in Raising a Generation to Love the Outdoors. This is the heart of what I hope Hike it Baby is able to accomplish in communities across North America throughout 2022 and beyond. This is the work that helps us remove barriers and create opportunities so families with babies and young children can take their first steps outside. With time and dedication, this is the work that will ensure all families have the right to connect with nature, benefit from spending time outdoors, and be inspired to a lifelong love of nature.
The weather was wet and unpredictable in true Pacific Northwest fashion, yet the sun shone down upon us for most of the event. I like to think Nature was smiling and sharing her love and warmth to this gathering of community in the outdoors
ABOUT HIKE IT BABY
Hike it Baby is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to creating opportunities and removing barriers to access so families with babies and young children can take their first steps outside. With more than 300 communities across North America, they firmly believe all families have the right to connect with nature, benefit from spending time outdoors, and be inspired to a lifelong love of nature. To learn more, visit HikeitBaby.com, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. To support their mission and further their programming aimed at supporting families, donate here.