Meet second term Wild Keeper Azucena! She is based in California and joined the Wild Keeper program in the fall of 2021. Azucena shared that she was introduced
to hiking in high school, "thanks to my math teacher. I got to hike Top of Vernal Falls, Yosemite. It was amazing!" Azucena says her favorite was to get outdoors is, "walking and feeling the morning clear crisp air in my face."
Her most memorable outdoor experience so far has been taking a mental health day to Santa Barbara, CA with no actual plans. "I found the most relaxing trail that ran alongside a creek. The water streaming down the mountain gave the most relaxing sounds. I loved how an unplanned hike turned out to have the nicest view to the ocean," she said.
Azucena also reflected that she believes everyone is the best version of themselves when they are outdoors, expressing that "when I go outside I am more aware of people around me and my surroundings. I always have a “good day” for the everyone or simply a smile. When I started hiking I would just take a small water bottle, nothing else. One day I definitely underestimated the hot summer weather and I ran out of water. I still needed to get back down but was so exhausted I felt like I was going to pass out. A super nice guy must have noticed I was in distress and stopped to help me out. He gave me a bottle of water and made sure I was ok before he left. I was so grateful that he had stopped to help me."
Learn more about Azucena and her Wild Keeping experiences below!
Keep Nature Wild: What is your favorite trail snack?
Azucena: My favorite trail snack has to be crispy apples, oranges and of course a nut and berries trail mix.
KNW: Which would you pick: forests, mountains or desert?
KNW: What is your favorite thing about being a Wild Keeper?
A: I get to share my love for nature and for keeping it clean and I do it with such a supportive community.
KNW: What has picking up trash outdoors done for you?
A: It’s made me realize that I am making a big difference even it’s a bit of trash that I pick up. It’s about taking initiative that makes a difference.
KNW: Roughly how many pounds do you think you've picked up since you became a Wild Keeper?
KNW: What goals do you have for this year? (or beyond?)
A: I want to explore more and find new trails. I also want to set up a group to do a beach clean-up! I was very surprised with the amounts of trash at the beach and I want to do my part.