Keisha Scovens, M.S., co-founder of Let’s Go Outdoors and nationally certified Speech and Language Pathologist has been working with children and families for 15 years. Through consulting and coordinating programming for Let’s Go Outdoors, she is inspiring people to think differently about how to engage and maintain their own – and others’ – relationships with natural landscapes. Combined with her Pennsylvania Master naturalist certification (currently pursuing), she is a role-model for the African American community.
Growing up as an “inner-city” kid, Keisha was not raised being environmentally conscious, exploring nature in positive ways, or participating in outdoor recreation beyond the street, playground or backyard. All of this came later, as she was gradually exposed to more traditionally Caucasian-based outdoor activities through Girl Scouts, summer camp, and collegiate relationships. During Keisha’s international and national travels, she was able to visit many local, state, and national parks, but always noticed the lack of diversity in visitation and employment.
Consulting and collaborating with land trust organizations, state, and local parks, as well as neighborhood locations with green spaces, Keisha is changing the mentality surrounding nature-based play and outdoor recreation among people of color. With teaching people of color how to treat and interact positively with their environment, Let’s Go Outdoors believes we’re a step closer to global sustainability and increased interest in visiting natural landscapes. By opening doors for further exploration, learning options for education, and providing leadership by outdoor professionals, more people of color may be drawn to careers associated with outdoor recreation.