Dear Community,

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we at the Avarna Group have been trying to figure out our role, what to say, and how to move forward. We know that COVID-19 has exposed structural inequities and injustices that predated the pandemic, and that individual and institutional responses to the crisis can exacerbate these inequities. But what does that have to do with the outdoor recreation, conservation, and environmental community?

Well, it turns out a lot.

Earlier this week, we hosted a webinar with over 300 members of the outdoor recreation, conservation, and environmental community to explore how COVID-19 has impacted staff, constituents, communities, program participants, park visitors, and more. Below is the video recording of the first portion of the call (minus the Q&A, which we kept confidential), and here is a Google document with detailed notes on frameworks we shared, crowdsourced resources for further learning, and ideas shared by participants for addressing pressing dilemmas you all share.

Though we still have so many more questions than answers, one thing we are sure of is that working creatively and collaboratively is the best way to support each other and build resilience now and into the future. We’ll do our best to keep facilitating formal and informal conversations about all of this, so look out for updates and more invites to more intimate conversations about COVID-19 and your work. And in the meantime, we encourage you all to reach out to each other and keep this conversation going.