Exploring the Great Outdoors

Article by · May 4, 2023

::: Photo By LeVonn Brown :::

The state of Georgia is located in the southeastern region of the United States, bordered by South Carolina to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Tennessee to the north, Alabama to the west, and Florida to the south. 

   Atlanta, Georgia sits in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The city is situated in the Piedmont region, which is characterized by rolling hills and a mixture of forests and fields.

   Beyond the city limits, the landscape includes several different types of natural environments. On the north and east of the city are the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, which are characterized by rolling hills, forests, and streams. To the south of the city is the Piedmont plateau, which is marked by gently rolling hills and a mix of forests and fields.

   While many people of color move to Atlanta for various reasons; better job opportunities, cost of living, cultural attractions, and even for its great weather, few ever take the opportunity to enjoy the great landscape the city and its surrounding natural environments have to offer. That is precisely why Dr. Franda Clay founded Flowers and Fros Outdoor Adventures.

   “As I travel to different parts of Georgia to hike, I notice that diversity isn’t often found outside of the metropolitan Atlanta area.  I have ventured far and wide with one thing in mind, “We need more groups of similar faces in these spaces”.

   Flowers and Fros Outdoor Adventures was founded in May of 2021 as a way to reconnect BIPOC (black indigenous people of color) to nature.  The mission statement of Flowers and Fros is simple, “We are building a community of BIPOC who want to diversify in the outdoors.  

   Clay discovered hiking during the COVID-19 pandemic. She and her daughters took advantage of the forced time together to get out and explore nature.

   Recognizing that hiking is a fantastic way to get exercise while also enjoying the beauty of nature, Clay wondered why she didn’t see more people of color taking advantage of the great outdoors.

   People of color and black people have historically been excluded from outdoor spaces and outdoor recreation. For example, in the United States, many national parks were established on land that was originally inhabited by indigenous people, who were forcibly removed. Similarly, many outdoor recreational spaces were established during a time of segregation, when people of color were not allowed to visit many public spaces. As a result, people of color and black people may not have grown up with a tradition of outdoor recreation and may feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in these spaces.

   However, Flowers and Fros Outdoor Adventures aims to change that by creating a safe and welcoming environment for BIPOC to explore and connect with nature. The group offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, kayaking, and rock climbing, all led by experienced guides who prioritize safety and inclusivity.

   By creating a community of like-minded individuals, Dr. Clay hopes to inspire more people of color to get outside and experience the beauty of Georgia’s natural landscapes. By breaking down barriers and providing access to outdoor recreation, the group is helping to promote diversity and equity in outdoor spaces.

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