Join Explore Austin in June for two free events in celebration of Great Outdoors Month

Representation in the Outdoors: Where Are We Now and What’s Next?

Tuesday, June 6 | 6:30 pm

Kick off Great Outdoors Month with Explore Austin at Patagonia! A Happy Hour with beverages and light bites will be followed by an hour-long panel discussion on diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. Our panelists will share their experiences and insights on how to make the outdoors more welcoming and accessible to all across racial, ethnic, gender, socioeconomic and physical-ability barriers, part of the Explore Austin mission. This event also features a chance to win exciting Patagonia and Explore Austin swag with 100% of donations going to Explore Austin.

Moderated by: David Buggs, MBA | Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Josie Gutierrez | San Antonio Regional Coordinator, Latino Outdoors
Thurman Hogan | Operations Manager, Black Outside
Ariel Marlowe | Community Engagement Specialist, Cycleast & Ride Leader, Black History Bike Ride
Tanya Walker | Founder, Black Women Who

David Buggs
Josie Gutierrez
Thurman Hogan
Ariel Marlowe
Tanya Walker

Event Details
Tuesday, June 6 | 6:30 pm
Patagonia, 316 Congress Ave | Austin, TX 78701
RSVP here | Free & Open to the Public
Note on Parking: This event takes place in downtown Austin; Street parking is free after 6:00 pm. Patagonia does not have a designated parking lot.

6:30-7:00 pm | Happy Hour, light bites & raffle entry
7:00-8:00 pm | Panel presentation
8:00 pm | Raffle winners announced

Chance to Win Patagonia and Explore Austin Swag
100% of donations support Explore Austin
Donate here and show us your confirmation page to be entered to win!

Nature as Our Teacher: Youth Benefits of Outdoor Education

Thursday, June 8 | 5:00 pm

June 8 is National Get Outdoors Day! Celebrate with a kid-friendly program hosted by Explore Austin at Huston-Tillotson University. Refreshments and interactive activities from Keep Austin Beautiful will be followed by a 45-minute panel discussion on the benefits of the outdoors on youth development, with a focus on how time in nature helps us be healthier, more creative, more empathetic, and more apt to engage in the world and with each other.

Interactive activities provided by:

Moderated by: Alaine Hutson, PhD | Associate Professor of History, Huston-Tillotson University
Demekia Biscoe, PhD | Director of Education, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Christine Norton, PhD, LCSW | Professor, Texas State University School of Social Work & Research Scientist, Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Center
Starla Simmons, LCSW-S | Clinical Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work

Demekia Biscoe
Alaine Hutson
Christine Norton
Starla Simmons

Event Details
Thursday, June 8 | 5:00 pm
Huston-Tillotson University – King-Seabrook Chapel, 900 Chicon St | Austin, TX 78702
RSVP here | Free & Open to the Public

5:00-6:00 pm | Refreshments & interactive activities
6:00-6:45 pm | Panel presentation

About Explore Austin

Explore Austin uses mentoring, leadership, and outdoor adventure to empower youth to reach their full potential. Through a leadership based outdoor adventure curriculum coupled with social-emotional learning components and long-term mentoring, Explore Austin is improving the well-being of each participant, their families, and the community.

Research shows when youth have a long-term caring adult in their life, access to challenging outdoor activities, and opportunities to lead others and themselves, they are more confident and prepared to reach their highest level of success. Explore Austin matches high potential, 6th grade “Explorers” with caring and committed adult mentors and start them on a six-year journey including nine Saturday Challenges and a week-long Summer Wilderness Trip that increases in difficulty and distance from home each year.

What makes this program unique is the length of time Explore Austin volunteer Mentors commit to their Explorers. Explorers begin in sixth grade and their mentors stay with them through the graduation of high school and beyond into their adult lives. Over the course of the six-year program, each Explorer spends more than 1,300 hours with their Mentors and fellow Explore teammates, creating lifelong growth in character, integrity, courage, and grit.


Questions & Info

Blair Adams, Events Manager

Press/Media Inquiries

Claire Spera, Communications Manager