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I’ll Go If You Go

I’ll Go If You Go

Author: Save the Redwoods League

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Welcome to I’ll Go If You Go, a Save the Redwoods League podcast. Through conversations with Black, Indigenous, and POC who explore and work in the outdoors, we’re building community and illuminating how Californians from all walks of life experience nature and conservation, in the redwoods and beyond
14 Episodes
In episode 2, Host Emily Harwitz chats with Monica Binetti and Erin Closmore about how they started the hiking community Bay Area Galventures, beginning with Monica overcoming her fear of the outdoors and her dear friend Erin moving back to the Bay Area. Amongst the redwood trees, Monica has discovered that she is more than her corporate job, 2 kids, and busy city life—she is connected to herself and Mother Nature, and believes that everyone deserves to find their own personal connection with the outdoors just like she did. Erin is a nature enthusiast who adores dogs and is always looking to try the next best vegetarian food spot. Together, Monica & Erin are the co-creators of @bayarea.galventures, an Instagram page dedicated to inspiring others to explore the natural beauty of California and beyond. --- Send in a voice message:
In the season 3 premiere, host Emily Harwitz (she/her) chats with Alanna Smith (she/her) about Alanna’s evolution as a conservationist and finding her niche within the conservation movement. Alanna is the Parks Program Associate at Save the Redwoods League, where she focuses on facilitating equitable public access to redwood parks. Passionate about building community in the outdoors, she co-leads the newly formed Northern California chapter of Conservationists of Color. Find Alanna on Instagram at @lannafsmith. --- Send in a voice message:
We’ve explored many ways to play in the redwoods this season. What resonates most, beyond any single activity, is the relationships formed and fortified—with one another, with the outdoors, and with one another in the outdoors. In this season’s finale, beneath the redwoods in Oakland, Grace Anderson (she/her) and Mo Asebiomo (they/she) embody Black joy (spontaneous laughter alert!), the expansive meaning of playing outside (cloud watching or an adrenaline-pumping bike ride, choose your own adventure), and the powerful affirmation that comes from affinity and resilient friendships. Let’s play! --- Send in a voice message:
In the northern reaches of the California coast, Yurok Country is home to the state’s largest federally recognized tribal nation. On a brisk morning here in Redwood National Park, Yurok Tribe member Josh Norris invited us to paddle down the Klamath River in ‘ohl-we’-yoch, a traditional Yurok canoe carved from a fallen redwood trunk. He shares about the anatomy of “the boat of the people,” how the river has transformed over generations, and reimagining education and community development while revitalizing and preserving Yurok culture. Book a canoe ride at --- Send in a voice message:
"Skate slow and live"

"Skate slow and live"


Skateboarding in the redwoods might seem unconventional, but it’s a thing. The nonprofit Skate Like a Girl (SLAG) hosts a sleepaway skate camp for women, trans, and nonbinary skaters—in the middle of Sequoia National Forest. We skated with SLAG in Santa Cruz and from the skate park ventured into the Forest of Nisene Marks with squad members Sam Mercado, Jai Ledesma, and Kim Woozy to talk skateboarding, nature, and building inclusive community. Turns out skate culture has some things in common with the redwood forest. Both inspire joy, resilience, and a sense of belonging. Visit to register for programs, including Women + Trans Skate Camp from August 8-12 or 15-19, 2022 (two sessions, registration opens May 7, 2022). Music by Wavebreaker. Follow Save the Redwoods League on Instagram @savetheredwoods --- Send in a voice message:
Bird is the word

Bird is the word


Oakland’s Lake Merritt may be a few miles from the nearest redwood forest, but this tidal slough is not only a bustling community space for locals, unhoused neighbors, artists, musicians, and roller skaters — it’s also a whole wildlife refuge abundant with native and migratory birds. For would-be birders, it’s a gateway. We went birding (aka birdwatching) right here with naturalist and artist Clay Anderson. Turns out he practiced both passions working many seasons at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Listen and learn about what it takes to be a birder, nature journaling, and birds of the redwoods.  --- Guest Bio: Clayton Anderson is a Naturalist working in the field of Environmental Education for the past 15 years. Enchanted by the natural world and its history since he was a boy, becoming a Naturalist was a dream come true. After graduating from San Jose State University, he landed his first job as a Naturalist with LoveLife Environmental Education Program. Since then, Clay has worked for several environmental concerns including California State Parks, East Bay Regional Parks and Alameda Resource Conservation District. He is currently works for Golden Gate Audubon Society as the Youth Program Manager. When he is not introducing the youth to the magic of nature, he enjoys birding and creating art. Whether speaking through a microphone or painting with a brush, Clay loves the work he does and is always looking to promote and educate others about the wonders of the natural world and its cycles. --- Send in a voice message:
What is forest bathing, really? Originating as a mindfulness practice in Japan called shinrin-yoku, it involves activities that help heighten your senses to experience nature on another level and improve overall well being. It's a vibe. Certified forest bathing guide Juan Lazo Bautista takes us into the redwoods and explains this immersive nature experience, including a meditation, tools, and practices to help guide you on your journey. Hope you emerge from this episode like a happy little tree (shoutout to Bob Ross). Visit for a list of activities. About Juan Lazo Bautista Juan (he/him) currently resides with his family on Kizh/Tonga lands in what is today known as Tustin, CA. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and has experience in labor organizing, youth empowerment, facilitation and immigrant rights work. He is proud to sit on the board of Defensores de la Cuenca (Watershed Defenders), a non-profit dedicated to helping the Latinx community connect with the natural world. Among his favorite things to do is catching last minute flights with friends, watching saturday soccer, bike riding, writing poetry and visiting his extended family in Oaxaca, Mexico. --- Send in a voice message:
The fungus among us

The fungus among us


In the season 2 premiere, Leslie Parra passes the mic to new host Emily Harwitz as they venture into Wilder Ranch State Park to go mushroom foraging with Arthur Lee of Mazu Mushrooms. In the middle of a redwood fairy ring, they explore the fantastic world of fungi — from mushrooms’ animal-like qualities to the way they can restore lands and waterways through a process called myco-remediation to which ones can literally kill you. Listen and learn all about what makes mushrooms so magical.  Follow Save the Redwoods League on Instagram <a href="">@savetheredwoods</a> --- Send in a voice message:
In the final episode of season 1, the podcast team tells stories from the redwood forest and about what the phrase “I’ll go if you go” really means—from psychedelic banana slugs to a ladybug bonanza to heartfelt tales about immigration and queerness. Featuring Dana Poblete, Marcos Castineiras, and Caleb Castle in conversation with Leslie Parra, the episode closes with a big reveal in time for Pride Month, followed by a riveting lightning round filled with karaoke songs and fun facts that speak to the many layers and intersecting identities of nature lovers and conservationists. Enjoy!  Follow Save the Redwoods League on Instagram @savetheredwoods --- Send in a voice message:
In the face of violence against Asian and Pacific Islander people over the last year, Rebecca Au was galvanized to work with her colleagues at the National Park Service to develop upstander training. Also known as bystander intervention, it teaches people how to practice allyship and intervene when others are being harassed, whether in parks and public lands or in everyday life. In this episode, Rebecca was courageous to share her own lived experience, as well as tips for how to be an upstander. She also geeks out on friendship bracelets and the mythical forests of Endor. Follow Rebecca on Instagram @rebecca.ow. --- Send in a voice message:
While going through a divorce, Karla Amador discovered a new passion: hiking for mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. She was inspired to start a movement called the 52-Hike Challenge to encourage others to reclaim their sense of self through connecting with nature. Join Karla and her community on a journey for love and healing, from the giant sequoia groves of the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada to the coast redwoods of Carbon Canyon Regional Park in Southern California—and maybe one day, a road trip with Oprah to the Bay Area. Follow Karla on Instagram @lovekarlaamador and @52hikechallenge. --- Send in a voice message:
Toni Maggi-Brown (he/him) is a wildlife biology student at Humboldt State University and a photographer who combines creativity with conservation. Step into Toni’s world in the ancient redwood forests of the north coast, where he worked last summer as a wildlife apprentice for Redwoods Rising. He discusses what it’s like to experience full immersion in nature, connecting and communicating with wildlife, and how Tik Tok can be an expansive tool for outdoor education. He also imitates a barn owl and shouts out Childish Gambino. Follow Toni on Instagram and TikTok @sounds_wild --- Send in a voice message:
Farrahn Hawkins (she/her) is a self-described “community and economic development enthusiast” who loves helping people achieve their life goals through education and the lens of nature. A former park ranger at Yosemite National Park and now based in Baltimore, Maryland, she volunteers to help youth and young adults root themselves in community and place.  Leslie Parra caught up with Farrahn to discuss what it means to develop a sense of place, and what it feels like to come face to face with giant sequoia for the first time.  Follow Farrahn on Instagram @never_typical_37.  --- Send in a voice message:
For our first episode, Save the Redwoods League Outreach Program Manager Leslie Parra rings in the new year with Miguel Marquez (he/him)—Oakland born, and raised by the local redwoods. He talks about the role that his Mexican-American heritage and family time in redwood parks played in developing his love for nature and ultimately his career path as a ranger who has worked for the National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He shares why representation matters, and what aspiring nature protectors of color can do to represent. Follow Miguel on Instagram @mggy1. Enjoy! --- Send in a voice message:
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