Nature engagement provides physical, psychological, and social benefits. Yet access to and use of local nature sites, parks, and greenspace is not always equitable, particularly for communities of color. To enhance understanding of the barriers to nature engagement by youth of color (YOC), Dr. Don Rakow of Cornell University, Dr. Dorothy Ibes of William & Mary, and Mr. Chris Kim conducted interviews of community leaders and nature-oriented organization leaders from New York state, Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. Results revealed a complex matrix of external, socioeconomic, and psychological factors that impact nature engagement by YOC. Findings expose larger implications for a call to racial and ethnic diversity, equity, and inclusion within nature engagement.

This discussion will feature the findings of this research from Dr. Rakow et. al as well as highlight the local implications of these barriers from Eboni Preston of the Greening Youth Foundation.