Friday, May 3, 2013



On the beautiful weekend of April 20-21, 2013, three I-YEL interns and various community groups hosted the second annual Backyard Bound youth summit. High school teens from all across the Bay Area— from as far as Martinez to as close to our local SFUSD high schools— came together to enjoy their local national park and discuss ways in which to engage their fellow youth to find a connection to the environment in their own way.

Saturday began with various workshops and outdoor experiences, from a discussion on gender roles in society to a ropes course at Lands End. Eight participants also traveled to our very own Crissy Field Center to use the cob oven in order to bake homemade pies and learn about local food. No matter which activity they chose, each of the 70+ participants spent their entire day outdoors.

Saturday evening concluded with a hefty meal catered by El Burrito Express and a campfire program as the sun set. Andy and Vincent, two members from the Ohlone tribe, plus the renowned GGNRA storyteller Ranger Fatima, kicked off the evening with multilingual stories. The first story featured Chocheño, the native Ohlone language, Spanish, English and Fatima’s infamous theater dramatics. The second story featured the use of a watermelon magically implanted with “rabbit poop,” or chocolate-covered raisins. The program continued with high-energy performances during our talent show and thoughtful reflections of the day in general.

Participants were greeted to sunshine early the next morning and prepared for the Sunday discussion. Topics include Habit vs. Hype, Taking Ownership and Your Community, Your Actions.  Participants brainstormed various ways to utilize social media to get youth and their families outside. For complete results of the discussion, stay tuned: an official report will be released in mid to late May.

The second annual Backyard Bound youth summit ended with a closing ceremony, which allowed participants to share their discussion results, and a banner signing.

Thank you to all our Backyard Bound participants! Check us out on Facebook at Please like our page!

Jenna Rose

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