Making connections with nature accessible to everyone
by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, November 8, 2022
On September 9th, 2022, 12 Black and Brown bodies gathered for a 2-night experience in the Mines of Spain, just outside of Dubuque. The weekend entailed lots of laughs, fellowship, and first-time experiences for quite a few folks.
This trip was significant and unique because it was the first BIPOC-focused (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) adventure organized by Wander Women. The Supply Hive saw this as the perfect opportunity to partner and connect our audience with this opportunity without them having to worry about the cost.
As the founder and executive director of The Supply Hive, I have a lot of passion for the events and programming we offer those that work with us and are a part of our hive. I only want to provide them with the best and ensure joy is included. My interests and hobbies can also be at the forefront when things like Black Girls Camp are established. I recently discovered the magic of Iowa's forests and wildlife. I knew it needed to be shared with many others, especially those who may not have the accessibility or safety to experience it on their own.
Black Girls Camp is an extension of an annual Black Girls Brunch The Supply Hive hosted starting the summer of 2020. The goal is to provide a space for other Black folks who identify as women, nonbinary, trans, etc., to network with each other and broaden their relationships while also enjoying a bit of luxury in being catered to at the same time. The extension kept the same fundamental idea but gave it a long period and a different location – the woods.
One of the guests, Tierra Richardson, a first-time camper, said the trip “put her life into a whole new perspective,” and she is “grateful for the connections she made” in a video on her YouTube channel. The other ladies felt a collective refresh after a couple of days we had all spent together, and I can’t wait until we can do it again.
Looking ahead, The Supply Hive and Wander Women have mutual goals of working together to create educational and fulfilling experiences that serve more Black and Brown bodies. We are currently planning for the spring to continue down the path of Black Girls Camp but also to ensure it is accessible for everyone that feels safe and will be respectful in the space of women, including nonbinary, trans, and gender fluid folks.
Nature is something that should be shared with everyone. However, we understand that for everyone to enjoy it, many barriers stand in the way, which we plan to combat. To keep up with all things Supply Hive, subscribe to our email list on our website at www.thesupplyhivedsm.org and follow all our socials at @TheSupplyHive.
About the Author
Zakariyah Hill, 24, was born and raised in Des Moines, IA, and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor degree in MIS and currently holds the title of Director of Finance and IT at the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She is also the founder and executive director of The Supply Hive, a non-profit that focuses on mutual aid and providing essential supplies to those in need. In her free time she loves the outdoors and making rugs for her small business Call Me Fuzzee.
- environmental justice