A guide to getting out of the swivel chair and into the sun

How to get outside, get involved, and make your weekend count

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Nydia Gutiérrez
DC Ambassador, Latino Outdoors

Lat. 38.88 and Lon. -76.98. They might seem like random numbers, but to me that is where I hang my hat. Squarely between two beautiful rivers — the Potomac and the Anacostia. 

And even though I’m lucky enough to live so close to not one but two amazing rivers, home to stunning wildlife, humbling views, and countless miles of great hiking trails, I know it’s not easy to get outside and enjoy them. 

Like a lot of us, I have an office job. Some weekdays, I’m lucky if I spend fifteen minutes outside — and that’s just walking to the Metro or waiting for a bus. 

As someone with a passion for the outdoors, I find it hard to be inside all day. That’s why I knew I needed to find a way to get myself out of the swivel chair and into the sun.

Now, I make my weekends count. I have served  as a DC Ambassador with Latino Outdoors for over a year.

Latino Outdoors is a national non-profit organization with a goal of introducing/re-introducing the Latino community (and anyone else who would like to join) to outdoor recreation on national, state, and local public lands. We also connect our community to leadership roles within the environmental and conservation fields.

DC is a busy town. Between work and social obligations, it can feel impossible to add one more thing to our plates. But believe me, it’s worth it. 

Through Latino Outdoors, I’ve met some great friends, made countless memories, and had a hand in helping to improve the health of our hometown rivers. And you can too. 

Once you look, there are endless ways to get involved and get outside, even for busy professionals. 

If you’re on the fence about getting involved, consider this. There’s never been a more exciting time to be an outdoor enthusiast in DC. Decades of work to improve our local rivers are paying off.

Just this spring using webcam technology, we bore witness to a pair of hatching bald eaglets in DC’s National Arboretum, the first bald eagle hatchlings reported there since the 1940’s! And that’s just one of many recent success stories.

What’s even more exciting is being part of team that’s making things like this possible. 

Latino Outdoors partners with organizations nationwide to restore and maintain our lands and waters so people, plants, and animals can all thrive.

Locally, we’ve teamed up with Potomac Conservancy this year to get people outside and involved in the fight for clean water. If you love the outdoors like me and you want to make a difference, now’s your chance. We’re hosting a cleanup on September 17th at Fletcher’s Cove in DC, and all are welcome.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or you’re just starting your outdoor adventure, you’ll get a much deserved break from the office and the chance to give back. 

After all, when you live between two rivers there’s never a lack of outdoor friends and fun!