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Bringing more racial diversity to the great outdoors

Two unidentified women hike in Griffith Park near the Hollywood sign.
Two unidentified women hike in Griffith Park near the Hollywood sign.
Jason Redmond/AP

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It's not unusual for minorities in California to never see the beach.

When going for a hike, many of the faces on the trail might be friendly but they're probably white, too. So there's a broad effort to change that.

The Parks Forward Commission launched a new site this week aimed, in part, to get more diversity to fill the great outdoors.  

"While California has the largest state park system in the entire United States, the population that actually goes hiking or camping in the state parks is not as diverse as California's actual population," said Michael Woo, who is the dean of the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona and a Parks Forward commissioner. "This app is one of several ways in which we're trying to get information out there in our effort to diversify the audience of who uses the state parks."

Also on the campaign: Deon West. He's an 18-year-old African-American student at UC Irvine, and he'll go before the state legislature Friday to argue for ways that the outdoors can be more accessible to people like him.

West spoke to host A Martinez about how the outdoors changed his view on the environment, and and why he thinks other minorities should join him in nature.