21 May 2020

Partner Spotlight: Taking the Time to Explore Our Backyards

Category: Blog

Growing up in big cities my whole childhood taught me to consider squirrels and pigeons as wildlife. When I moved to Colorado as an adult, my frame of reference drastically shifted. Out on the trails I’ve seen coyotes, fox, moose, and bald eagles just to name a few natural world friends. Seeing these creatures out on the trails in the mountains has been a great source of happiness for me and one I have missed most during these uncertain times of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Great, I guess now I’ll just sit in my backyard and ‘enjoy’ the view of the surrounding apartment complexes.” I must admit, I’m all for ensuring the safety of others but, not being able to go out on the trails has sucked. Until it didn’t. Because what I had failed to realize before was that I had not spent real quality time in my backyard at all, ever. “Since when did a woodpecker start living in that tree? How are there like 30 robins just soaking up the sun on my lawn right now? I wonder how far away that owl is because it sounds like it’s right outside my window.”

In the midst of all the chaos I’ve been fortunate enough to find a little oasis in my own backyard. I’ve been able to engage with the outside world I know and love using all my senses and I didn’t even have to travel to the mountains. I have come to appreciate having this time to slow down and really notice what I’ve been too busy and narrow minded to notice before- there is nature all around us all the time. We just have to look outside to the birds! With this newly found inspiration of mine, I hope to create and deliver in the near future an intro to backyard birding program for my Latino Outdoors community. I can only imagine what others might find in their backyards too!

By Janelle Paciencia, Latino Outdoors Colorado 

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HAF improves the lives of Hispanics in the United States and promotes civic engagement by educating, motivating and helping them access trustworthy support systems.

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