In support of our mission to inspire a global conservation ethic by connecting people to nature through outdoor education, the Conservation College started its Volunteer Luminary program in 2021. Our first program took place in August of 2021 when we organized eight volunteer luminaries from Wolf Camp & School of Natural Science to teach wilderness survival, ethnobotany and wildlife tracking skills to a group of 60 youth from the Muckleshoot Tribe.
Accessibility, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Environmental Justice are basic tenets of the Conservation Luminaries program. For us, accessibility refers to ensuring opportunities for outdoor education no matter physical ability or financial status. Diversity means ensuring that all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexual orientations and other identities participate in these opportunities. Equity means resources are directed where needed to achieve genuine equality among all participants. Inclusion means everyone who participates will feel safe, welcome, respected and a real part of every program including leadership. Environmental justice means achieving a healthy and safe environment not just for those who have resources to move for that purpose, but for every community and neighborhood in a region.
The current priority for the Conservation Luminaries program is to connect property owners and outdoor educators with disabled, low income and disenfranchised residents of cities and reservations who don’t have resources to regularly access a variety of nature and its benefits. If you have nature education experience, outdoor leadership skills, gardens or wild lands you would like to share with people who normally can’t access nature and its benefits, consider becoming a Volunteer Luminary with the Conservation College.
Email us for more information.
Upcoming Conservation Luminary Events Open To The Public
These hikes are lead by accessibility advocate Matt Budzak, outdoor photographer Jeffrey Hibbard, and volunteers from Wolf Camp. RSVP via the Northwest Nature Hikes meetup site as events are listed. All ages and abilities welcome! On-site donations of $5-$25 are requested to support hike leaders and logistics.
- April 22, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Earth Day at Wildwood Park, Puyallup WA (Friday 6 PM)
- May 14, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Foothills Trail Plants & Birds, South Prairie WA (Saturday 3 PM)
- June 4, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Point Defiance Flower Gardens, Duck Pond & Owens Beach (Saturday 3 PM)
- July 2, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Tacoma Waterfront & Les Davis Pier Fishing, Tacoma WA (Saturday 3 PM with pre-registration required at a cost of $15 per person due to overhead expenses at the fishing pier)
- Oct 1, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Clark’s Creek Salmon, Heron Rookery & Riparian Plants, Puyallup WA (Saturday 12 Noon)
- Nov 12, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Veterans Park & Puyallup Riverwalk Trail (Saturday 12 Noon)
- Apr 20, 2024 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Earth Day Birding at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge between Olympia & Tacoma WA
- May 18, 2024 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Swan Creek Park Community Gardens & Canyon Rim Trail, Tacoma WA (Saturday 12 Noon)
- June 15, 2024 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – President’s Weekend at Native Plants of Bradley Lake & Pierce College, Puyallup WA (Saturday 12 Noon)