Spending quality time in nature may well be therapeutic and is a major benefit of living here. Historically, however, low-income and ethnically diverse families have not had fair access to outdoor activities. HB 21-1318, a measure from the Colorado Legislature, seeks to address these concerns.

The bill proposes creating the Outdoor Equity Grant Program. This would be a significant step in encouraging creativity, cooperation, and investment in valuable outdoor activities and nature-based learning for everyone.

For all, this previous year has been challenging. Coloradans were forced to quarantine due to the coronavirus epidemic, which resulted in despair, stress, and anxiety. The epidemic worsened our society’s mental health weight and exposed racial, socioeconomic, and environmental inequities.

Many of us choose the pleasures of the outdoors to enhance health and reduce anxiety as a way to escape, dissociate, and disengage from the severity of our issues. On the other hand, low-income populations have significant problems and obstacles in going outside, such as a lack of reasonably priced transportation to get there and budgetary constraints on leisure activities and supplies.

With the region’s varied population rising at an accelerating rate over the previous decade and accounting for a significant percentage of the state’s rising economy, now is the time to solve these problems. The state’s Outdoor Equity Grant Program, which is now being reviewed in the Colorado Legislature, is a critical step in resolving these concerns.

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