#OptOutside for Green Friday

#OptOutside for Green Friday with our Friends

By Barton Robison


Since 2015, REI has closed its doors during Black Friday and encouraged people to #OptOutside instead of spending the post-Thanksgiving Friday shopping. The trend has spread far past the outdoor retailer’s doors this year, with Oregon State Parks jumping on the “Green Friday” (as opposed to Black Friday) bandwagon and offering free parking at all Oregon State Parks across the state.

The Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative is an active member of the outdoor recreation sector, and some of our closest partners and colleagues are actively working to get more Oregonians of all identities outside. With gratitude and thanks in our hearts, here are some of our favorite organizations working to increase outdoor access around the state.


Adventures Without Limits

Adventures Without Limits (AWL) is one of our partners in putting on adaptive camping weekends around the state. What started as a pilot in 2018 grew to five events in 2019, with six planned for 2020. 

AWL provides access to outdoor adventures to all people, regardless of their ability level, socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, or age. In particular, they specialize in adaptive adventures for people with all levels of ability, with specialized equipment and trained staff that can be responsive to almost anyone’s needs. In addition to our adaptive camping events, they do kayaking, snowshoeing, whitewater rafting, and more! Check out their calendar of trips here, or find them on Instagram at @adventureswithoutlimits to get connected.

Video by the Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative


Latino Outdoors Event / Photo by Zavier Borja

Latino Outdoors

Latino Outdoors (LO) is a national community-based organization that focuses on engaging the Latinx community with nature. Their mission is to “inspire, connect, and engage Latino communities in the outdoors and embrace cultura y familia as part of the outdoor narrative, ensuring our history, heritage, and leadership are valued and represented.” In our work with them through various advisory groups and networks, we couldn’t be more impressed with how they’re carrying that mission out!

LO is fairly new to Oregon, with two chapters popping up in 2019. Zavier Borja runs LO’s Central Oregon chapter out of Bend (@locentraloregon), while Leslie Garcia and Miché Lozano run LO Portland (@lopdxoregon). Connect with them on Instagram or Facebook to learn more about upcoming outings and events.

Wild Diversity

“Wild Diversity elevates Black, Indigenous, all People of Color (BIPOC) & the LGBTQ communities in the outdoors. We also offer resources and programming to queer youth, youth of color and low income youth. We are here to provide a safe and welcoming space for our community to explore outdoor adventures in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.”

Led by Founder and Executive Director Mercy M’fon Shammah, Wild Diversity hosts a number of events, outings, and trainings throughout the year that engage the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities in outdoor recreation. In addition to one-offs and regular climbing nights, they also offer a number of youth programs, skill workshops, and annual conferences around the state. Check them out on Instagram at @wilddiversity to learn how you can get involved.

Video by Wild Diversity

These are just a few of the dozens of groups working around the state to help make the outdoors a safe, welcoming, and equitable space for all. With so many options, there’s no excuse to sit on the couch when you can #OptOutside!

Barton Robison knows firsthand the healing powers of nature and is passionate about removing access barriers so that all Oregonians can know the benefits of time in green space. He leads Willamette Partnership’s work on the Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative, and his strengths include facilitation, strategy development, and communications.


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