Stories Happen in Forests Reminds People How Nature Inspires Us All

Dogwood Alliance Three Week Video Storytelling Series Finds a Connection between Outdoor Learning, Mountain Biking and Hip Hop

Asheville, North Carolina, UNITED STATES

Asheville, NC, July 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- What do outdoor learning, mountain biking, and hip hop have in common? They are three ways that different people discovered a shared love – our forests. Asheville, North Carolina-based, non-profit Dogwood Alliance produced a three week series that explored storytelling as a powerful way to reach people and ultimately harness that power to unite to protect forests.

The series is called “Stories Happen in Forests,” and featured Dr. Thomas RaShad Easley of Yale University, Lila, an 11 year old from Western North Carolina, and Terri Watts, the 2017 US Women’s National Enduro Mountain Bike champion. Each individual had their own special connection to forests and reminded the viewers that they too have a story to tell.

“A new narrative is beginning to take root, seeded by the stories that our friends, families, and neighbors are telling,” said Danna Smith, Executive Director of Dogwood Alliance. “Over the past month, we’ve been lifting up the stories of superhero Forest Defenders who are showing us all the different and beautiful ways we humans can value living Southern forests.”

Dr. Thomas RaShad Easley who is a trained forester and has worked extensively in the field of diversity learned how to love people and share his truth from hip hop and how to respect the earth through forestry. Bringing them together has allowed him to connect people who have been unnaturally kept apart to create a better world.

Lila is a 5th grader that love bugs, getting dirty and being in the woods. “Trees can be useful being cut down, but sometimes it’s useful for them to just stay where they are because it takes them a long time, like years, to grow fully and just appreciate how beautiful they are.”

Professional mountain biking champion Terri Watts from Georgia reflects on the joy and freedom we can only find in the forest. She reminds us to get out and play and enjoy nature. She also knows that we have to work to protect wild places because, “it won’t always be here if we don’t fight for it.”

Together our stories and our everyday actions are changing and shaping the future of Southern forests — a future where the world accepts that our forests are worth way more living than dead.

You can watch the new series along with previous episodes of “Stories Happen in Forests,” here.


Dr. Thomas RaShad Easley of Yale University explores the connection between hip hop and forestry in the latest "Stories Happen in Forests" video series by Dogwood Alliance. 2017 U.S. Women's Enduro Mountain Biking Champion Terri Watts shares her connection to nature and forests in the latest "Stories Happen in Forests" video series by Dogwood Alliance.

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