“If you stop and look with some intention, you can find some really amazing things…”
Frick Park has an extensive network of trails and is home to more wildlife than you might imagine. Taiji Nelson is there to help you explore it all.
“When nature shows up for you as an educator, it’s so great…”
Taiji works for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy at the Frick Environmental Center as a Naturalist Educator. What does that mean? It means that he works with middle school and high school students to look at ecosystems in the parks and restore park health. He shows students how parks can connect communities and introduce people to nature.
“Finding a salamander, finding a snake, finding an owl…you don’t expect to be able to see that kind of stuff in the middle of a city, in the middle of Pittsburgh, but it’s out here.”
“An interest in nature can be a really strong force to connect people.”
Taiji loves parks because he thinks they are places where groups of people can come together and be excited about being outside.
“There’s a ton of value in bringing people with different perspectives together. Being a queer person of color, I understand the value of meeting people who think differently than you and being able to find common ground.”
“I’m the hype man for nature.”
Nature is always there for adventurers who want to see new and exciting things. Taiji is there to guide those adventurers along.
A World of Wonder
In the parks, Taiji has seen all sorts of interesting sights. There are always birds flying from tree to tree, there are great horned owls that come out when it gets dark, and even a beaver that’s been known to frequent a stream in the park’s ravine.
Explore nature together. Visit Nature 360 for activities and information.
Blog post by Melissa Cagan.