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Narratives Worth Exploring

Diversity, National Monuments, National Parks, Podcast, Public Land, Uncategorized / 05.02.2024

Hosted by James Edward Mills, this series delivers each day in the month of February a compelling audio story via podcast in about 60 seconds. Each narrative offers a brief glimpse into the life and times of Black men and women who have shaped our cultural identity. The series is called Unhidden Minute. I hope you’ll join us. ...

Adventure Activism, Black History, Diversity, Matthew Henson, National Geographic / 22.01.2024

The Joy Trip Project is excited to announce the 3rd recipient of the Matthew Henson Memorial Polar Explorer Scholarship. In partnership with Polar Explorers, an Illinois-based guiding company, we are pleased to award Carla-Paz Moran Sanchez free tuition to attend a five-day introduction to a winter travel introduction training course in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area of Northern Minnesota. Carla-Paz will be joined by last year’s scholar awardee, Christine Meissner, to help guide and mentor her journey through in the world of cold weather overland travel. To honor...

Capitol Christmas Tree, Destinations, Joy To America, Photography, Story Maps, U.S. Forest Service / 11.12.2023

The journey of the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is now accessible as an interactive Storymap!. Each stop along the way from the Harvest in the Monongahela National Forest to the Lighting Ceremony in Washington D.C. can be traced graphically with its exact location and a site specific photo album. If you were at any of our public events or if there were a few you might have liked to attend here you can experience a bit of the joy that is such a big part of this...

#BlackLivesMatter, Books, Diversity, Nelson Institute, The Joy Trip Reading Project / 06.12.2023

On Thursday November 30, 2023, hosted an online discussion with Amber Wendler co- editors of the anthology “Been Outside ~ Adventures of Black Women, Nonbinary and Gender Nonconforming People in Nature”. Encompassing four major themes—identity, inspiration, ancestry, and stewardship—Been Outside explores the relationship between nature, science, and self through essays and poems from leading Black women and nonbinary scientists. Edited by Amber Wendler and Shaz Zamore, stories from 22 writers showcase both the challenges and joys of carving out your own path—and will inspire any reader looking to craft their...

Capitol Christmas Tree, Choose Outdoors, Commentary, Essays, Joy To America, National Forests, Native Culture, Podcast, Public Land, U.S. Forest Service / 04.12.2023

Immediately following my return from Washington D.C. - I mean on the flight home – I was inundated with kind words of support and condolences for the demise of my Christmas Tree. Due to excessively high winds early in last week of November 2023, it is indeed true that the beautifully decorated holiday tree provided to the White House by the National Park Service sadly fell over. News reports in photographs showed the tree lying on its side. But as I graciously replied to each of these thoughtful...

Black History, Black Lives Matter, Capitol Christmas Tree, National Forests, National Parks, U.S. Forest Service / 20.11.2023

The 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was harvested and packed for transport to Washington D.C. with the assistance of the young men and women from the U.S. Job Corps of Harpers Ferry West Virginia. This year, all were Black or Hispanic. As much as I would like to believe that this is not a big deal, I must acknowledge that this represents the change that we all must strive for in order to preserve the long-term sustainability of our natural resources both here in...