Briefly describe your role at Get Outdoors Nevada?
I serve as the Executive Director for Get Outdoors Nevada. In this role, I work alongside a professional staff of volunteer and education program managers to create and deliver exceptional, outdoor, and nature-based learning and service opportunities throughout our community.
What sets your organization apart from others in the city?
Get Outdoors Nevada is the only local nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting people to nature and inspiring our community to care for one another and Nevada’s special utdoor places through life-long learning and service opportunities. We are unique in the array of programs and services we provide and because of our diverse network of community partners, including schools, libraries, parks and trails teams, and many other municipal, jurisdictional and service agencies.
What should Summerlin residents know about your organization?
Get Outdoors Nevada is here to support everyone in our community to connect with nature and to work together to care for Nevada’s special outdoor spaces. One opportunity that may be especially interesting to Summerlin residents is our volunteer stewardship program, which allows adults, youth, children, and families to come together to complete a service project at a local park or trail.
These projects can include activities such as trash and debris removal, tree or native habitat plantings, and general park and trail beautification projects.
Get Outdoors Nevada handles everything for these projects, including coordinating the service project with our partners, volunteer registration and communication, and providing all equipment and day-of support needed to complete the project.
We love working with groups such as corporate teams, scouts, faith-based groups, and other community organizations to create a volunteer stewardship opportunity that meets the goals of the group and the needs of the community. You can learn more about our volunteer program and upcoming public events here: https://getoutdoorsnevada.org/volunteer/.
What has been your favorite event/program you have hosted before?
While I am exceedingly proud of all of our programs, I do feel that our most impactful and meaningful programs are those that involve elements of learning and service and of course, allow for a good amount of time spent outdoors! A couple of specific and recent examples come to mind. First, Get Outdoors Nevada was pleased to host a group of undergraduate students from Howard University (Washington, DC) who had elected to participate in an “alternative” spring break. These amazing young adults traveled from the East Cost to spend an entire week completing community service projects throughout Las Vegas Valley. Along with our partners at the city of Las Vegas Department of Parks & Recreation, we hosted the Howard University group for two days of service including a tree planting at Lorenzi Park and a major clean-up of the therapy gardens at Dula Community Center. Not only did these young people get their hands dirty in service, but they were also very engaged in learning more about our community. They were full of questions, wanting to learn as much as they could while they were here—what it’s like to live, work and play in Southern Nevada and how the Mojave Desert ecosystem influences our quality and way of life. It was such a joy and inspiration to host this group, while also completing two important projects! The other program that I’d like to highlight is our native habitat initiative, where we work with community partners to create habitat corridors throughout the valley by planting native desert vegetation, beautifying our outdoor spaces in a more sustainable manner while also providing wildlife with important resources such as food, space and shelter. Earlier this spring, we welcomed 60 volunteers who assisted in planting hundreds of native desert plants at Centennial Hills Park. This program provided an important opportunity for adults, children and families from all over the valley to learn about the value and importance of native plants, while also inviting them to gain hands-on planting experience.