5 Great Resources For Nature Lovers

Whether you're looking to de-stress, get some exercise, or birdwatch, nature offers a bounty of fun activities. Given this, many organizations work to ensure that our natural world is accessible to all and will be preserved for many generations to come. This list, in no particular order, shares some groups championing for the great outdoors.

Kicking off our list at #1 is Pine Hill Park, an area with miles of single-track trail spread over hundreds of acres offering mountain biking, trail running, hiking, walking, snowshoeing, and more in the Rutland, Vermont region. Every year, hundreds of volunteers work to build bridges, rake, and move rocks and dirt to maintain the area.

Pine Hill Park is home to an abundant sampling of Vermont's plant and animal species; its resident naturalist posts regular flora and fauna observations on its website. It hosts several events throughout the year for the community to socialize and improve the park.

Coming in at #2, we have Nature for All. This organization's mission is to build a diverse base of support to ensure that everyone in the Los Angeles area can experience nature and its benefits. It seeks to create better access to forests, rivers, and parks and develop a new generation of environmental leaders and stewards who connect to and care for public lands.

The group is a member of several coalitions, such as EnviroMetro, which aims to ensure new and improved transportation connections are green, equitable, and healthy. Its Leadership Academy is a long-term training program established in 2011 to teach organizing and advocacy skills, civic engagement, and local community action.

The #3 entry is Rancho Los Cerritos, the only national, state, and local Historic Landmark in Long Beach, California. This site's mission is to restore and preserve its ranch house building and grounds. It also strives to interpret the relationship of the Rancho's diverse peoples from the period before Spanish settlement to the present day.

Rancho Los Cerritos' first formal garden is said to date back to around 1844; the grounds include historic trees planted in the mid-nineteenth century, native plants, and orchards that date to the early twentieth century as well as more recently placed flora. Visitors can enjoy tours of the gardens.

For #4, we have Wild in the City, based out of London. This Black-led organization offers hikes and experiences in bushcraft, natural history, and ecotherapy. Its mission is to build a community of people of color who gather in nature for fun, education, and wellness.

Considered one of the first organizations to conduct ethnographic research centered on people of color's experiences with nature in the United Kingdom, Wild in the City offers consultancy about diversity and inclusion to other environment-focused groups and companies.

Finally, at #5, we have Norfolk Botanical Garden, located in the eponymous waterfront Virginia city. This natural area is nearly 200 acres and features dozens of distinctively-themed gardens, such as World of Wonders, where kids can explore the connections between plants, international culture, and the environment.

In addition to various plants such as camellias, ginkgo biloba, and osmanthus, the garden is home to many butterflies, birds, and other critters. The Norfolk Botanical Garden Society manages the natural area; it produces several events for children, adults, and school groups throughout the year.