When you think of Americans recreating in the “great outdoors,” it’s probably not Black people that come to mind. In fact, now that I’ve brought it to your attention, you may be jolted by how few Black and brown Americans you meet in our national parks, forests and protected lands.
Yet the pandemic has shown that nature is our refuge in this time of crisis. The Center for Disease Control emphasizes being outdoors as the preferred way to avoid the virus if we must get together. But the reduction of transmissibility is not the sole benefit of being outdoors and in America’s wild places: Medical professionals recommend it for the mental, physical and emotional benefits. Google IPhone tracking shows that parks of every kind, including beaches are the most visited destinations during the pandemic.