Blog Post Alana Garibaldi Mar 1, 2024

The Outdoors and National Parks Are for 𝘼𝙡𝙡 Women

A Q&A with Wondery Outdoors’ co-owner and community director, Lydia Mok, who organizes events to get more women of color to enjoy outdoor activities.  

Wondery Outdoors is an outdoor gear and apparel company that describes itself as “BIPOC owned, women led.” BIPOC is an acronym for Black, Indigenous and people of color. As a strategic partner with NPCA, the company donates a portion of profits from its Parks of the USA Bucket List Bottle to support NPCA’s mission to protect and enhance national parks.

As the company’s co-owner and community director, Lydia Mok works to create an inclusive community in the outdoors and show that everyone belongs in our national parks and natural spaces. She has established and hosted a robust series of events with a focus on historically marginalized communities to encourage women to come together to celebrate their love for the outdoors and share adventures in nature — including in and near national parks.

Q: NPCA is excited to continue partnering with Wondery to ensure women feel welcome in and empowered to help protect our national parks — and we understand this is a personal passion for you as well. Can you share more about your connection to our national parks?

Personally, I’ve always felt a natural need to be outdoors, and I particularly love to connect to wild spaces and national parks through my love of climbing. My first time climbing in a national park was at Joshua Tree, with the BIPOC community group Climb the Gap, and since that first time, I’ve gone back every season and also had the opportunity to climb in other national parks, such as Yosemite and Grand Teton!

That reverence for parks and public lands has extended through my work with Wondery. We recently had the opportunity to support Black Girls Trekkin’, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that aims to provide experiences that inspire Black women to pursue outdoor adventures with confidence. Their first out-of-state trip was to Zion National Park, which was made possible by funds raised during one of our previous BIPOC climbing events.

Wondery has a powerful ‘you belong out here’ ethos that extends from our apparel to our actions. It’s important for us to ensure that women feel comfortable in the outdoors.

Lydia Mok of Wondery Outdoors

We were able to offer two full scholarships and heavily subsidize 13 other spots, while also providing support via camping and hiking expertise throughout the weekend. We are so grateful to be able to support existing nonprofits and community groups across the country in reducing barriers to entry into the outdoors. When we were in Zion, it was so memorable seeing everyone make it up Scout Lookout, as well as those memories around the campfire!

Q: It sounds like these memories have inspired the event series you’ve built at Wondery to help more women experience these special places. Can you elaborate on how you’ve brought this mission to life?

Wondery has a powerful “you belong out here” ethos that extends from our apparel to our actions. It’s important for us to ensure that women feel comfortable in the outdoors, and that starts with functional, versatile and comfortable gear and apparel. And as an extension of that commitment to comfortability outside, we aim to create safe spaces where everyone can feel welcome in spaces where they have previously felt or been told is not for them and create meaningful connections with the outdoors, and with each other.

NPCA at Wondery Outdoors climbing event

The author, left, and Sally Garcia staff an information booth at a 2022 Wondery Outdoors climibing event for women of diverse backgrounds.  

camera icon NPCA

A key pillar of this has been our suite of inclusive and community-focused programs, including our big three fundraising events throughout the year and monthly hikes that include activities accessible to all experience levels.

In 2023 alone, we invited at least 1,400 women representing diverse backgrounds into the outdoors with us. And we were pleased to have NPCA join us for several of those events, providing hiking guides to encourage women to explore new trails in national parks near them, along with opportunities for women to share their favorite memories in parks and even take action to help protect parks.

Q: That’s incredible that you’ve been able to build such a strong community of women in the outdoors. At NPCA, we share that belief that everyone should feel welcome, enriched by and empowered to protect national parks. Was it that shared commitment that inspired Wondery to partner with NPCA?

Wondery was founded in 2016 with a mission to foster a more inclusive community by bringing together women and people of color who have historically been absent or underrepresented from the outdoors and green spaces, so our goal has always been to empower and uplift these voices. Emphasizing our shared love for the outdoors and national parks, we’re excited to work with NPCA to bring people together to create a more diverse and more engaged community of park advocates.

While it was certainly that shared commitment that originally inspired our partnership with NPCA, we’re inspired by the many creative ways we’ve been able to bring that commitment to life together, including through several exciting events in 2024.

Q: To close, can you share more about upcoming opportunities for women to join Wondery and NPCA in learning more about and exploring our national parks?

Wondery Outdoors at Zion National Park

Participants of a Wondery Outdoors event at Zion National Park. The outdoor gear and apparel company hosts activities to encourage women in historically marginalized communities to get outdoors and in national parks. 

camera icon Courtesy of Wondery Outdoors

Absolutely. We’re looking forward to kickstarting our Women’s History Month celebrations alongside NPCA this year by hosting a group of women and families for a free event March 16 highlighting women’s history in three national park sites in Washington, D.C. Through a full day of in-person community building in parks, we’ll focus on uplifting the importance of diverse representation, especially for women and girls.

We’ll also be celebrating in California with our second annual Climb With Her indoor climbing event supporting Brown Girls Climb. And on March 27, we’re hosting a free event for women at our headquarters in Los Angeles. We’ll start with a guided hike and then test our knowledge of women’s history — including the history of women in national parks — with a special themed trivia night. To further celebrate women in the outdoors, we’re thrilled that another one of NPCA’s partners, The Mill Keeper, will be providing wine featuring their unique label artwork that celebrates the strength that women contributed in the early days of Napa Valley’s wine industry.

Through these events and beyond, we’re pleased to support NPCA’s mission of ensuring that our national parks are representative of and welcoming to all. We’re thankful that the National Parks Conservation Association exists to continue this important work, and we look forward to continuing to create shared impact for our parks.

Wondery Outdoors partners with NPCA as an extension of its mission to be a sustainable outdoor lifestyle brand dedicated to liberating women in the outdoors through awareness, resources and the creation of an inclusive outdoors community for women. To support this shared mission, Wondery will donate 3% of the purchase price of each of its Parks of the USA Bucket List Bottles to NPCA.

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About the author

  • Alana Garibaldi Manager, Strategic Partnerships

    As the manager of corporate partnerships and cause marketing, Alana connects like-minded companies to NPCA’s work, creating collective impact for our parks.