The first hiking trail in Colorado dedicated to a Black person recently opened following efforts led by several Black hiking groups to diversify O’ Fallon Park.
“Winston said to me, before he passed away, ‘Jess, I need to teach you everything I know about the outdoors,’” Newton recalled. “I think he knew he was getting sicker and sicker and I’m just grateful that he was able to be my mentor to actually help carry on the next generation to encourage the Black and Brown community to adventure.”
Walker is credited with exposing thousands of people to the Colorado Parks system and is the co-founder of the Beckwourth Mountain Club. He had a personal mission to assist as many women and people of color as he could in their endeavors to get into the wilderness.
“It’s part of our birthright as Denverites to be part of this outdoor culture,” Happy Haynes, director of Denver Parks and Recreation describes the need for increased access to underserved groups to the Denver Gazette, explained. “And yet we have people who live with this in their backyards and haven’t had this access.”
Even the Sierra Club, an outdoor club founded by “the father of national parks” John Muir, was inspired to denounce its founder’s racism and the role it played in continuing to keep Black people away from nature spaces and national parks.
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Source: Black Enterprise