Organic Connects and the Power of the Outdoors

ECO SPEAKS CLE

Sep 19 2023 • 35 mins

Whitnye Long Jones is a nature enthusiast, community engagement specialist, and environmental justice advocate. She channels these passions and skills into the non-profit she founded in  2017 called Organic Connects. Whitnye runs Organic Connects with her husband, Jefferson Jones, a lifelong outdoor educator, and outdoorsman. Together, they provide environmental education, outdoor recreation, and nature-based opportunities primarily for urban youth and families with limited access to nature.

In this episode, we speak with Whitnye and Jefferson in Jimmy's Treehouse, the outdoor learning classroom at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. We talk about the power of nature to teach, restore, transform, heal, inspire, connect, and prepare our future environmental leaders. Whether it be kayaking, camping in Allegheny National Forest, or building a campfire, the practical skills one acquires outdoors benefit each of us throughout our lives, and as Jefferson puts it, "everybody, whether they're white or black or brown, needs more of the outdoors." Join us to hear how these two black environmental leaders provide these experiences and connect people organically to the outdoors, each other, and the community. It's a reminder of how these organic connections can create ripple effects, fostering an environment where everyone, regardless of their background, can connect with nature in a meaningful way.

Guests:
Whitnye Long-Jones, Founder and Executive Director, Organic Connects
email: wlj@organicconnects.org
Jefferson Jones, Senior Director of Operations, Organic Connects
email: jhj@organicconnects.org

Resources:
Environmental education and outdoor recreation programs
Organic Connects Events
Partners and Funders
Cleveland Metroparks Youth Outdoors
Conveniently Vegan restaurant
Camp Journey



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