Dirty Fuels Hike Campaign & Outing Collaboration with Angeles Chapter

  • Posted on 20 December 2019
  • By Shawnté Salabert

Angeles Chapter outings leaders Joan Schipper and Shawnté Salabert (who is also the volunteer co-lead of the Outdoors For All campaign) led community members from Los Angeles’ Baldwin Hills neighborhood and beyond on a leisurely hike through Kenneth Hahn State Park. The park is a jewel of L.A. green space, with rolling hills, a well-loved trail network, and incredible views of the city. But it also sits directly across from the Inglewood Oil Field, the largest urban oil field in the United States. The Angeles Chapter Clean Break Committee and national Beyond Dirty Fuels have a joint campaign to end urban oil drilling and Raj Patel (Angeles Chapter leader) joined the group as well to share the details of their efforts.

Kenneth Hahn serves as an urban oasis, a leafy place where Angelenos can readily reap the well-documented health benefits of spending time outside. But those very benefits are challenged by the ongoing environmental and human health threats—exposure to toxic chemicals, smog-forming gases, and climate-damaging emissions—the park and its users face from continued drilling. If there was ever a place for the Angeles Chapter’s outings program and the Dirty Fuels team to join forces, this was it. 
The goal was threefold: Get Angelenos outside to enjoy one of the city’s largest green spaces. Educate them on the history of the oil field and the threats it poses to the park and people. And inspire them to take action. On a bluebird day, the group spent two hours wandering the trails at Kenneth Hahn, learning the dual history of the park and the oil field while occasionally allowing for silence and a little bit of personal reflection. 
At the end of the hike, participants were given the opportunity to provide instant feedback during what was an open public comment period, recommending protections for both environmental health and physical health of people living in the Baldwin Hills area near the Inglewood Oil Field; everyone who was present either filled out a postcard or promised to make their comments online later at home. The next week, Sierra Club representatives joined local leaders in delivering those comments and many others to the Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning.
Thanks to committed volunteers who recognize the power of linking outings and advocacy, these outings to Kenneth Hahn will repeat monthly in the new year, long after the public comment period has passed. It’s a way to keep the public informed and engaged—and of course, to help people enjoy the park and remember exactly what we’re fighting for. 
Blog Category: 

Add new comment

Enter the characters shown in the image.