05 July 2023

Embracing Urban Outreach

Written by: Jennifer Lagunas

Growing up in San Diego, I often felt limited in my ability to explore my interests and connect with nature. However, my recent internship with the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a Visitor Service/Urban Outreach intern has opened my eyes to the incredible programs

and opportunities available to communities like mine. One of the most fulfilling aspects of my internship so far has been witnessing the positive impact of urban outreach programs on the communities around me. Having lacked access to such programs during my childhood, I feel a sense of joy and pride in witnessing others benefit from these initiatives. It is great to see individuals, young and old, engage with nature and experience the wonders it has to offer. 

One of the programs that the USFWS helps support is the nature tot storytime in the library of the city of Imperial Beach. This is a program that is done once a month where we collaborate with the City of Imperial Beach and the Library to read a book and do an activity related to the nature theme we choose. I grew up going to similar events at my local library and these were the only activities we had in the community. It was a great experience and time of reflection for me to see the impact these types of programs have on someone. After reading them a book about how bees pollinate and doing an activity related, you can see how excited and curious they were about learning more. 

As I immerse myself in this role, I am continuously learning new things about wildlife conservation, environmental education, and community engagement. The newfound knowledge and experiences I gain serve as a bridge between the communities I work with and my own social circles. As my friends and family ask about my internship, their curiosity presents an opportunity for me to educate and inspire, fostering a greater understanding and appreciation for the work I am privileged to be a part of. Moving forward, I am dedicated to continuing my efforts to bridge the gap between urban communities and the natural world. Hopefully making connections between my own community and the USFWS

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Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

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