A 2021 report to the National Climate Task Force states that “As a result of discrimination and segregation in housing, transportation, conservation and natural resource policy, communities of color…have disproportionately less access to nature’s benefits, such as clean water, clean air and access to nature.”
Thriving natural areas and a healthy environment are essential for the well-being and resilience of our communities. Yet a lack of accessible green space disproportionately occurs in communities of color and in low-income communities, which has a significant impact on public health.
It's clear that lack of diversity is impeding environmental equity and limiting effective conservation action. A bold combination of scientific and community-based approaches can rectify this reality.
Since 2013, Audubon has piloted and expanded the Wild Indigo Nature Explorations program, dedicated to strengthening the connection between healthy natural habitats and healthy urban communities.
Nature-based activities are tailored for diverse communities across the country to address concerns around accessibility, safety, and wellness, while also leading to local conservation impacts.
SPARKING CURIOSITY, PURSUING INCLUSIVITY AND HEALING COMMUNITIES
Wild Indigo operates in Chicago, IL, Gary, IN, Lake County, IL, Milwaukee, WI, and Detroit, MI, and is expanding to Columbus, OH and Phoenix, AZ.
Your donation to A Community Thrives supports the future of the Nature Explorations program, as it continues to:
About Wild Indigo Nature Explorations - Created in 2013, Wild Indigo was developed by Audubon Great Lakes and collaborative partners Eden Place Nature Center, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, to connect African-American and Latino families on the South Side of Chicago to local nature. The program name honors the early days of the collaboration, when during the initial spring visits to Cook County Forest Preserves, the first group of engagement fellows came across wild indigo plants (baptisia australis) everywhere they went. The purple wild flower became a unifying feature of their experience, so when time came to name the program the project partners chose Wild Indigo Nature Explorations. The name references habitat that supports birds, but also a plant that is present in cultural traditions from various parts of the world.
About the National Audubon Society - Founded in 1905, Audubon has been instrumental in some of the most successful, important conservation initiatives by centering on birds. Our legacy is built on science, education, advocacy, and on-the-ground conservation and the efforts of state/regional offices, 450+ local chapters and 41 centers and sanctuaries. We forge connections between our communities and the natural world, engage in scientific discovery, educate about the environment, and care for the wildlife habitat that we steward.