This Land Was Made For You & Me

Audrey and Frank Peterman.

Audrey and Frank Peterman in the Great Outdoors!


When Audrey Peterman gleefully took her husband up on a suggestion to take a couple of months off and drive around the country to see America, she had no idea it would lead to her life’s mission.

Audrey was equally surprised when she saw on her journey less than a handful of America’s multi-ethnic and multi-racial citizens among the visitors and employees in the national parks.

She and her husband, Frank Peterman, made a vow then and there to expose the natural wonders of our national parks and recreation areas to all Americans who, Audrey says, are the owners and stakeholders of our planet’s natural resources.

Frank became the Southeastern Regional Director of the The Wilderness Society and he and Audrey continue to pursue their dream of a world in which people love and respect nature and are invested in its care.

Me visiting the Grand Canyon.

A few years ago I visited the Grand Canyon and the majestic mountain parks in Arizona and let me tell you, the connection you forge with nature out there is real and formidable. The Spirit of the Earth becomes a natural part of you that remains forever. Pay a visit to some of our national parks and see for yourself, pilgrim.

Visit Audrey Peterman’s blog Legacy on the Land and get information on national parks to explore, park and travel guides, travel tips and stories of Audrey and husband Frank’s journeys across America and other countries, visiting national parks and wildlife reserves. Also check out her newsletter  “365 Parks in 365 Days” , in which she is chronicling a full year of park explorations and adventures for 2013.

And pick up Audrey and Frank Peterman’s book, ‘Legacy on the Land’.


African American climbers of Expedition Denali.

African American climbers of Expedition Denali.

When it comes to wilderness, we won’t protect what we don’t know or care about. And one great way to learn about the outdoors is to experience it. But with very few outdoor role models, African Americans visit national parks at a lower rate than any other ethnicity, at a cost to both their health and to the public’s appreciation of nature.

Expedition Denali could change that. African American climbers hailing from Seattle to New York have come together to summit Denali, also known as Mt. McKinley, next June on the 100th anniversary of its first successful ascent. Denali is tallest mountain in North America at 20,230 feet tall, and the tallest in the world measured from its base to its peak (Everest gets a boost up from the Himalayan Plateau). By tackling this immense peak, the Expedition Denali participants hope to inspire people of color across the nation to explore and enjoy the outdoors.

Check out the video below of the team’s training expedition and get to know these trailblazers.



Outdoor is filled with stories, photos, event listings and other resources that educate, motivate and inspire African Americans in the Bay Area and across the country to enjoy the Great Outdoors with their families, friends and with others they meet in this unique online community.  Here you’ll find photos, videos and blog postings of African Africans who enjoy bicycling, hiking, camping, birdwatching and outdoor photography as well as skiing, rock climbing, whitewater rafting and scuba diving.


“African Americans are not necessarily disconnected [from nature], but somehow we’ve lost touch with something that’s already a part of us,” says Rue Mapp, founder of OutDoor Afro.  “Many of us have grown up or lived in close contact with the land, such as in food and farming activities. So a relationship with the land was a natural thing for us.”

“It’s imperative, not merely for the sake of enjoying the beauty of nature, but for our own health,”  Mapp says.  “Right now, we’re facing 30 percent obesity among African American youth. In Oakland, it’s closer to 50 percent. So we’re looking now at a generation with lower life expectancy than their parents because they’re starting off on the wrong foot.”

OutDoor Afro Founder, Rue Mapp.

Ms. Mapp concedes that efforts to reconnect African Americans with the Great Outdoors will take time. But the benefits will be worth the effort. “In my lifetime,” she said, “I’d like to see African Americans enjoying the outdoors freely without inhibition and without spectacle and to be able to do so in a way where it’s no big deal to see African Americans involved in recreational activities outdoors.”

Mapp’s efforts are already starting to generate attention – both in government and in the business community. Last year, President Obama invited Mapp to participate in the White House Conference on America’s Great Outdoors. She was subsequently invited to participate in a White House brainstorming session for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, offering her ideas and insights on ways to engage Americans to become more involved in outdoor recreation activities.

source: Outdoor Afro


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s