Woods and Us envisions a world where nature’s lessons, beauty, nourishment, love, and strength are accessible to ALL people.
Race and income are the two most significant factors blocking equitable access to nature and its health benefits. Marginalized populations often live in cities or urban settings where they are more likely to be denied regular access to wilderness areas and green spaces like local parks and urban trails.
Therefore, the primary aim of Inclusive Woods and Us is to increase equitable access to the outdoors for children, families, and communities of people of color in lower socioeconomic standing as a way to improve the physical, mental and spiritual health of vulnerable populations.
To amplify the call of nature that lives within each of us by sharing stories, providing programming, organizing expeditions, and supporting outdoors exploration and discovery for marginalized communities
We have so much good news to share with you! Our organization is blossoming in time with Spring. Here's what we'd like you to know:
Woods and Us participated in a Climate Justice Series from April 1 to April 22, hosted by Climate Solutions Accelerator. As a Climate Coalition participant, we were invited to apply for a grant. We were notified recently that we've been selected as one of the recipients of the available grant funds! We are so grateful for the learning, and moreover, we want to thank Climate Solutions Accelerator and those who have contributed to the funds to make this grant possible. We’d also like to thank the voters who recognized the importance of our mission, and have made it possible for us to continue expanding.
Our relationship with REI Rochester also continues to grow as we expand to serve more children and families in our community. Because of their generous giving of gear (tents, backpacks, sleeping mats, disposable masks) we can envision future programming where we are able to take children and families camping! We’d like to thank Josh, Dave, Tim, and the special DEI leader for their support.
Speaking of children and families, Woods and Us knows that there are many families that want to participate in the Girl Scouts Summer Camp 2021 and are facing challenges in the complex registration process. We’d like to help make this process easier for you! Please reach out to the founder of Woods and Us, Lucienne Nicholson, and she will direct you to someone who can walk you through the application process to make sure you can register for up to 5 weeks of financially-accessible camp for your girls, as well as possible employment opportunities for youth. Hurry, the deadline is swiftly approaching.
Lucienne's contact information:
Last but not least, we know there would be no Woods and Us without nature that is protected and cherished. As part of “I Love My Park Day” put on by Parks and Trails New York, Woods and Us will be participating in a clean-up event at Hamlin Beach State Park. We will be involved with cleaning beds, repair work, and collecting trash. We want to continue to demonstrate to the children that enjoying nature also means offering our services to maintain it.
Thank you for reading and joining us as we continue our mission to expand equitable access to outdoors exploration and discovery. See you in nature!
Lucienne Nicholson is many things: a mother, an immigrant, a hiker, an enthusiastic gardener, a beach lover, and a wholehearted admirer of nature and its power to heal. She is also the founder of Inclusive Woods and Us, a Rochester, New York-based nonprofit officially established in 2019 to “increase equitable access to the outdoors for children, families, and communities of people of color in lower socioeconomic standing as a way to improve the physical, mental and spiritual health of vulnerable populations.” Her deep love of the natural world began as a child in Haiti and has sustained her through many life challenges – including losing access to the outdoors as a teenage immigrant – and inspired her endeavor to share nature with others.