Wild Keeper Spotlight: Ariana Valencia

Wild Keeper Spotlight: Ariana Valencia

Meet 12+ (!!!) term Wild Keeper, Ariana! Ariana has been a Wild Keeper since 2019 and is based in Phoenix, Arizona. Ariana shared that she has always loved being outside, but when she moved to Alaska to be with her boyfriend she really got into spending her time outside. She said that, "the sun is up all day except for one hour in the summer! I moved back to Arizona and then got my two dogs I have now and they really really got me into the outdoors -- we rarely have lazy couch days now!" She joked that her favorite way to experience the outdoors is by, "just exploring with my pups! Especially when water is involved! Pretty sure my dogs and I were fish in another life!"

When it comes to outdoor challenges, Ariana shares about environmental conditions. "In
 Arizona, it gets so hot and it makes it hard for us to go hike. We also love to camp and in the winter over night it isn’t ideal either to be in such cold environments especially with the pups. We also have more fun In not as heavily trafficked areas so it does hurt our hearts when a trail that was not so packed gets popular and makes it hard for us enjoy due to volume and the trash others leave behind."

                      Learn more about Ariana and her Wild Keeping below! 
Keep Nature Wild: If you had to choose between mountains, forest or desert, what would you choose? 
Ariana: Mountains! 

What is your favorite adventure snack?

A: All the spicy chips, especially hot fries lol

KNW: What is an experience that has shaped your relationship with nature/ the outdoors?

A: Once I saw how much my dogs loved the outdoors and adventuring with me, I knew that I would do whatever it takes to keep that going. So now we make a trip AT LEAST once a month. Jellybean has been to Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida & Georgia and Sabertooth has been to Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida & Georgia.

KNW: What is one thing you'd love to bring more awareness to in the outdoor space?

A: Leave nature as is, don’t pick up anything including rock for it does have a HUGE impact. Also stop trashing nature. Outside is not one giant trash can. If you brought it in, why is it so hard to bring it out? & PICK UP YOUR & YOUR DOGS POOP!

KNW: What is your favorite thing about being a Wild Keeper?

A: Oh man, the friends I’ve made. The community is truly my favorite. I also love being apart of the photos & that Sabertooth gets to be apart of it as well!

KNW: What has picking up trash outdoors done for you? 

A: It has made me feel more mindful, honestly and grow my relationship with Mother Nature and make sure I take care of her for as she has taken care of me.

KNW: Roughly how many pounds do you think you've picked up since you became a Wild Keeper?

A: Oh WOW! I’d probably say all together about 2,000?

KNW: What goals do you have for this year? (or beyond?)

A: Visit a new state & pick up at least 700lbs of trash! So far I am about 318 lbs in!

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