ST. GEORGE— Latino Conservation Week is coming to St. George next week, and Conserve Southwest Utah is holding a variety of events to support Latino conservation efforts.
Latino Conservation Week is a national effort to promote conservation and provide recreational activities for Latinos.
The event has been held throughout the U.S. since 2014, though this is the first year that St. George will be participating, joining over 150 events nationwide.
“We’re excited to celebrate the Latino community’s commitment and conservation and feel that it’s important to recognize. Especially as the Latino population grows in Southern Utah,” Sarah Thomas, Conserve Southwest Utah land program manager, said.
Latino Conservation Week is an initiative put on by the Hispanic Access Foundation. The goals of the initiative are to provide Latino people with outdoor recreation opportunities close to home, demonstrate the Latino community’s commitment to conservation, partner with Hispanic community leaders and organizations to support national and regional conservation issues, and inform policymakers, media and the public of the Latino community’s views on such issues.
“We believe that we can only succeed in protecting special places like the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, for example, if all voices get to join in, in standing up for our public lands,” Thomas said.
Conserve Southwest Utah is holding events from July 16-20 which aim to provide education and support the conservation of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, which protects about 45,000 acres of public lands.
The conservation area contains over 130 miles of trails, two wilderness areas, several cultural and historical sites, and a variety of wildlife including the threatened desert tortoise and the gila monster.
According to the 2010 U.S. census, 13% of St. George’s population is Hispanic or Latino. The nonprofit decided to participate in Latino Conservation Week to support St. George’s Latino population and celebrate their connection to public lands and conservation in the area.
“We do have a pretty good-sized Latino community, and we’re trying to reach out and try to get people involved with our public lands,” Susan Crook, land program manager for Conserve Southwest Utah, said.
All of the week’s events in St. George are free and open to the public.
Full article and schedule of events can be found here.