Rene Melara is a Clinical Social Worker who has lived in Los Angeles since 2013 and has worked to support youth and families from underserved communities on the Westside.

Rene was born and raised in an urban part of New Jersey that led him to love the hustle of big cities but that also pulled him away from exposure to nature. Growing up, he was used to seeing the Manhattan skyline in the distance and using that as a point of reference to what direction he was facing. It wasn’t until his first morning in the Los Angeles area when he woke up seeing the San Gabriel mountains that he realized how much he needed to nurture his relationship with nature and make up for lost time. Now, Rene works at integrating his love for the outdoors with his work as a therapist in order to share the healing the powers of nature on our social-emotional and physical health. In his free time, Rene likes to engage with nature by volunteering with Latino Outdoors, gardening, and taking care of his many houseplants. His favorite local parks are Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area and Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook.