This Earth Week, we wanted to highlight people who are doing their part to make our environment healthier, cleaner, and safer for us to live. Our latest community champions- Driz and Dawn Cook- were introduced to us by their friend Sierra who describes them as “amazing, true Community Champions”. After hearing their story, we definitely agree.
Driz and Dawn Cook are a dynamic husband and wife duo from San Bernardino County who have found incredible ways to make a difference in Big Bear, where they call home. Twenty years ago, they started the High Trails Outdoor Science School. Their school welcomes thousands of fifth and sixth graders to its sites up in Big Bear to spend a week learning about nature first-hand.
The school’s curriculum focuses on creating an immersive experience that teaches students about how humans affect the environment and what we can do to limit our negative impact while increasing our positive impact.
“We take them into the forest for about seven hours every day to learn about nature. They get away from their technology devices and have such a fun time. They see bugs, smell trees, and play.” -Dawn
Driz leads Community Trail Work Day in Big Bear
Individually, the couple is just as remarkable and they have found ways to incorporate eco-consciousness into their personal interests.
Driz currently serves as the chair of the Big Bear Trails Group, a non-profit organization that works with the National Forest Service to preserve the integrity of the local trails. Driz mentions that the forest service’s budget for putting out forest fires has increased while the budget for taking care of the recreational trails has reduced. He and the other volunteers from the Big Big Trails Group have stepped in to help support the forest service by providing both manpower and the money they raise from fundraisers.
Dawn, on the other hand, leads the Big Bear chapter of Girlz Gone Riding, an all-women mountain bike club. As a board member, she is committed to creating a supportive environment for women to get out in nature. She teaches the group about different best practices for recreational trail use such as picking up litter along the trail and not riding bikes on certain trails to prevent erosion of the soil.
Driz and Dawn are determined to leave their environment a cleaner and healthier place than they found it. Most importantly, the couple is committed to creating opportunities for people to love the outdoors more.
“We want to introduce people to nature in the most positive way so that they can see nature as something to take care of and appreciate.”
Dawn and Driz on a bike ride
We admire Driz and Dawn’s passion and we love being able to celebrate them this Earth Week. Who are the champions in YOUR community? Let us know by filling out this form.
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