A young Black boy smiles as he paddles a kayak.

At a time when the Fox Valley’s BIPOC population is growing and more and more people are coming out as queer and transgender, it’s more important than ever for our outdoor spaces and activities to be inclusive and accessible to all. People right here in our Fox Cities are missing out on the cultural connections, soul-rejuvenating joy, and numerous health benefits of being outdoors. Hmong people are still dealing with the racist fallout of the Chai Vang incident and pandemic-related anti-Asian hate; Hispanic people lack resources in their native language and are scolded for speaking Spanish in public; Black people worry about having police called on them for something as innocent as barbecuing; folks with mobility challenges are segregated to side entrances and the few paved trails; and gay couples fear harassment for holding hands. Our opportunity is to lower barriers and create a Fox Cities region where all people feel fully welcomed in our outdoor spaces. We must take action to achieve that goal; doing so will improve the health and wellbeing of members of marginalized groups, increase engagement with our local institutions, foster support for conservation and sustainability causes, and bring our community closer together.

"No inclusion initiative can erase the trauma of hateful attacks or the long history of exclusion that has led up to this moment, but we can seize the opportunity to build on the progress of past decades and make sure that our communities live up to their full potential."
Kyle Armstrong
Project Director

Advisory Committee

Amanda Martinez
Kids Forward
Updated September 14, 2023
This research was conducted by a BeWell Fox Valley AmeriCorps member hosted by the Brigade with funding from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and the US federal government.

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Inclusion in the Outdoors is supported by a grant from the Community Vision Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region