Meet Lucy Crespo, the Northeast Urban Community Engagement Specialist at the National Wildlife Refuge Association. We had the pleasure of meeting Lucy when she was the Director of Youth Initiatives at Groundwork Elizabeth. At the time, she was hosting the first Mother’s Day event at Phil Rizzuto’s Park in 2022, along with US Fish and Wildlife and our Bring it Outside Program. This celebration was focused on making the day special for moms that receive support from Josephine’s Place Women Empowerment Center. When we heard Lucy’s story that day, we knew we wanted to share it with our community.

Growing Up Outside

Lucy’s family immigrated from Argentina to the United States when she was almost three years old in search of  “The American Dream.” They arrived to a new world full of lights, cars and skyscrapers that seemed to cover the land (New York) leaving their small town Rio Ceballos behind. It took a couple of years for this family to adopt America as their new home, but eventually, Elizabeth, New Jersey became that place. Over time, they missed Argentina’s mountains, grass, rivers and creeks that crossed their town so they ventured for that place that reminded them of their home.



Lucy’s family ventured outside of their neighborhood in search of a place that could fill this void in their lives. They started visiting every park they could find; Kellogg’s Park, Phil Rizzuto Park, and many others. This young woman grew up surrounded by nature because her parents wanted her to have the same opportunities they had enjoying the beauty of this world. Lucy’s parents organized camping trips for their daughters to continue the tradition of spending time with nature; through that, Lucy began to fall in love with nature as it connected her to her Argentinian roots. In 2014, Lucy joined Groundwork Elizabeth and went on a trip to Yellowstone National Park, which proved to be life-changing for her. She grew her knowledge in train maintenance, habitat restoration, and leadership skills. For years Lucy traveled to many National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges around the country leading groups of youth in the battle to preserve our nation’s open spaces. Lucy led efforts at Yellowstone National Park, Grand Tetons National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and the Lenape National Wildlife Refuge Complex just to name a few. Then using years of knowledge to preserve public lands back in New Jersey and educate communities as mentioned in the video.



Lucy and her partner Douglas, now have a two-year-old son named Enzo. They work together to provide Enzo with a better life, surrounded by nature. Her ultimate goal as a mom is to create a better environment for her son which consists of keeping the air, soil, and water clean for him and the future generations.

Lucy shares, “I hope Enzo will carry out the culture of outdoorism. I have taught him since the moment he was born to love, appreciate, and respect nature.”

Lucy now works with the National Wildlife Refuge Association using her experiences to help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in NJ, NY, and PA with their Urban Partnerships within surrounding communities.


Lucy & Maria’s Advice for Parents

Lucy says to “appreciate every moment you have with your children. Bring them outdoors! Make those memories – that’s what they will remember the most.

Maria Lincuiz (Lucy’s mom), agrees, saying “take your kids out! Take your kids to the park. If you are worried about money, just go for a walk!” Lucy’s mom is so proud of the way Lucy is raising her son, and how much she exposes Enzo to nature.


We are so honored to work with Lucy, and her mom, and to witness the development of three generations of outdoors lovers!




Hike it Baby is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to create a world where everyone can enjoy the physical and mental benefits of spending time outside. We are focused on creating opportunities and removing barriers to access so families with babies and young children can take their first steps outside. We believe all families have the right to connect with nature, benefit from spending time outdoors and be inspired to a lifelong love of nature. Since its grassroots inception in 2013, Hike it Baby is a growing community of 270,000 families and over 400 volunteer Branch Ambassadors. More information, as well as outdoor engagement events, can be found at, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.


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