In the United States, nature conservation unites LGBTQ youth

When Callaghan was the head of the Rainbow Crew in 2019, different teams performed various tasks such as digging sloping paths, manually removing aggressive bushes or moving large stones to create traces. By doing this, Callaghan firmly believes that team members gain confidence by learning about their bodies. “To do this work, you need to know what it means to be in a human body.”

On the path to success

Ellis Rylander, Founder of LGBT, Founder of Large Outdoors and Safety Lack of Opportunities for Teens Adventures, And Jay Chatts, director of the Northwest Youth Forces, helped form the Rainbow Conservation Crew in 2019. North Face Research Fund And some Wenatsi National Forest.

Although the Rainbow Crew project has evolved over time, its main objectives remain: to provide young people with a safe place to enjoy the wilderness and train them in nature conservation through paid employment.

In recent years, scholarships and funding have been provided National Park Foundation Allowed the program to grow; The Foundation has invested more than $ 4.5 million in security forces across the United States by 2021. NYC now has two separate LGBTQ teams for young people aged 15-19 and eight weeks for young LGBTQ adults aged 19 to 25. Various groups have worked in various national parks in the Pacific Northwest Louis and Clark National Historic Park And this Olympic National Park.

“Considering the length of stay and the difficulty of the work involved, Rainbow Crew really helps participants acquire their identity as members of the LGBT community and reflect on their relationship with the natural world,” explains founder Rylander OTA en 2014 With one purpose in mind: To give young people the opportunity to explore their identity in a caring environment. In his view, Rainbow Crew creates a lasting impact on participants, helping to shape their future careers in conservation and nature education.

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What’s more, this impact is not just for members of the LGBTQ teams, but is actually starting to change the culture of security organizations across the United States.

In the winter of 2020, the NYC Rainbow Crew was selected as this year’s project National Conference of the Network of Security Organizations, Is one of the largest corps in this community. “A lot of bodies are starting to realize that they’re getting more bodies and weird people than they thought, and for these kids they want to be themselves,” says Jay Chatz. In recent years, SATS has seen the use of inclusive pronouns (they) and a greater focus on gender in many bodies in the United States.

A flowering trend

In addition to the Rainbow Crew, NYC has also formed a team American Sign Language, A new organization among many others that will help remove barriers to minority population participation.

This trend is also seen in other parts of the country. Last spring, The Leaders of the Color Crew Joined the adventure with a non-white team of the Southwest Defense ForceAncestor Lands Defense Forces With a wide range of groups for indigenous youth and youth, including a fully formed group of women working on habitat restoration Grand Canyon National Park.

Similarly, theEast Sierra Security Forces (ESCC), based in California, recently launched the Wildlands (Wilderness Leadership Development) Technology Team, an eight-month program for LGBT adults aged 21 to 30. The team is currently working on projects Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. In addition to the WILDlands program, ESCC offers eight-day exciting nature trips with route maintenance training for young women and LGBTQ youth.

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