As I write this second edition of our Alumni Newsletter, it feels more important than ever to stay connected with all of you. We have all been impacted by COVID-19 and are having to adjust our day-to-day routines and step up in a big way to check in with our loved ones and more vulnerable populations. Here at BAWT, we have postponed our upcoming courses and put gear library operations on pause as we are sheltered-in-place and keeping our community's health and safety top of mind. Our staff has been checking in virtually with one another every morning, and we are reaching out to our partners and community to support in any way we can.
While we are physically distant from one another, I hope you are all finding ways to stay emotionally and spiritually close. We are here if you need a virtual hangout, ideas on how to be outside safely, support with outdoor and environmental education activity and lesson ideas, or places to go near your home to exercise and breathe in some fresh air.
In this newsletter, we'd like to offer some resources for us all to stay grounded in our shared love for the outdoors.
During this time of uncertainty, getting outdoors can lower anxiety and stress, increase physical activity, and provide a wonderful classroom. On my daily walks around my neighborhood in Oakland, I have been observing the California Poppies pop up in the grass near the sidewalks, made friends with the herons living in the tree down the block from my apartment, and have reconnected with my local, urban, nature in a sweet and meaningful way.
We also heard this weekend about how busy many trailheads and parks are getting, making it tougher to spend time outside while social distancing. We have compiled a map of parks, trails, gardens, and other green spaces right here in Oakland, where our headquarters are located. This is a resource for YOU to add your favorite spots to, anywhere around the Bay Area. Our hope is that this is a resource you can go to when looking to discover new outdoor spaces in your own neighborhood that are accessible. Please add to it and share with others, AND keep these guidelines top of mind:
Remember, if you are feeling at all sick, stay at home and take care of yourself.
Plan to explore with people you are already living with, this is not the time to meet other friends for a walk.
Be prepared with water and snacks as needed to ensure you don't need to stop anywhere else on your way.
Have a few backup locations in mind. If the park or trailhead is crowded, turn around and try another one!
Give people space when you see them on the trail or in the park. The current recommendation is to stay at least 6 feet away.
Avoid touching your face and be aware of surfaces touched by many people such as railings and stoplight buttons.
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before you eat and avoid sharing water bottles.
We are so grateful to have all of you in the BAWT community. Our alumni and volunteers are the heart of all we do. Stay close, stay connected, and be kind to yourselves. (Note: this is a photo from our December Gear Corps night)
GEAR LIBRARY CLOSURES
Our gear libraries will be closed until further notice. If you are planning trips for the summer or fall, feel free to reach out to us for support and put in your gear requests.