Meet Laura, a second term Wild Keeper based in San Marcos, Texas! Laura has been exploring the outdoors since she was a kid alongside her parents in their favorite ways: hiking and biking.
Laura shared that her most memorable hiking experience was in June of 2020. She shared, "my family and I were in Rocky Mountain National Park hiking from Bear Lake to Andrews Glacier/Lake of Glass. I was having a miserable time. My mom and I had gone ahead to Lake of Glass. We were waiting for my dad and siblings to be done at Andrews Glacier. I was feeling better and wanted to prove to myself that I could do the hard part of the hike. This included hiking up the snow with blisters and climbing up a waterfall because the snow was blocking the path. When I reached the top, I cried. I had done it. Like many others, I was going through an episode of depression and was not feeling my best. Lake of Glass will always have a special place in my heart because of that." We love this experience Laura shared, it shows how impactful getting outside can be on us all.
Laura also confided that the outdoor community hasn't always been the most welcoming space. She reflects, "I don’t feel like all body types are represented especially in the media when it comes to hiking and clothing choices. I’ve gotten weird looks and side comments from people commenting on how my stomach sticks out. I am a medium size, not super skinny/fit or “traditional” plus sized. The weird looks and side comments don’t bother me anymore, since anyone and everyone can enjoy the outdoors."
When we asked her what the most valuable and meaningful steps would be for us to take, she expressed, "I would say that representing all body types in advertising and more sizes should be offered not just with clothing."
For Laura, picking up trash outdoors has opened her eyes to the amount of people unaware of their trash habits. She said, "I’ve noticed that so many people are oblivious to their trash habits. We went to the beach recently and there was so much trash. We did a family clean up and didn’t even make a dent. It makes me sad. Since I joined Keep Nature Wild, my family has started to notice it too and they’ve begun to pick up trash, too."
Read more of Laura's interests and Wild Keeping history below!
Keep Nature Wild: Which would you pick out of mountains, forests or deserts
KNW: What is your favorite thing about being a Wild Keeper?
L: That the community has a simple clear message and promotes inclusivity.
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?)
L: Travel to more state/national parks and pick up trash!
Follow Laura, her photography and adventures here!
Thanks for being a part of the Wild Keeper Community, Laura!