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Kula for a Cause  - 'Hiking is For Everybody'
Kula for a Cause  - 'Hiking is For Everybody'

Kula for a Cause - 'Hiking is For Everybody'

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About the Artist:

Annina Wells: Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps, Crew Supervisor
Pronouns: They/them, she/her Annina Wells has spent most of her life in Baltimore, on the ancestral lands of the Piscataway, Susquehannock, and Nentego/Nanticoke peoples. In 2014, Annina began cultivating a deeper reciprocal relationship to the land and to their neighbors through their work as a community organizer and urban farmer/educator. From 2014-2017, Annina worked to facilitate food justice and sovereignty within the city; specifically, working with historically oppressed and marginalized community members to produce free, organic produce in the city’s many food deserts. Following a knee injury and a year of recuperation/rehab, Annina bicycled from San Diego, CA to Huaraz, Peru on a 12,000 mile
self-guided journey; meeting and working alongside campesinos (rural farmers) along the way. During their time with the California Conservation Corps, Annina fell in love with the magic of the Sierra mountain range and the life of a trail worker. Through Eastern Sierra Conservation Corp’s Women in the Wilderness program, Annina was introduced to ESCC. Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps was the perfect amalgamation of experiencing the beauty of living/working in a National Park and the joy of working towards a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. For Annina, it was love at first sight. Annina joined ESCC in 2020, facilitating ESCC’s SEKI-CC program and leading a crew of 6 through a season in Kings Canyon National Park. Out of those six corps members four have continued to work in trails, one of them becoming a trail crew supervisor in her own right. Annina is forever grateful for the opportunity to work alongside such a life-changing organization and to witness how ESCC continues to positively impact all who experience the program.

About the Organization:

ESCC is a development and leadership program committed to building a more inclusive community. We provide opportunities for young adults from priority populations (groups that are historically underrepresented in natural resources and conservation) to experience and better understand wilderness and the outdoors by providing transformational and immersive experiences. Our members break boundaries, learn about themselves and others, and form a deep appreciation of ancestral lands through our programs.  

Our platform of access, engagement, and extension helps break down barriers to outdoor recreation and conservation work. For our participants, we increase access by providing them the training, gear, and skills to recreate and improve trails in the backcountry. Our participants have increased engagement in the natural world, and are encouraged to share their new connections with people in their community. Our programs provide extension by building pathways to careers in conservation and natural resources.  We are laying the foundation for a more just and equitable future.  Website:
About the Founder:
Hello!  I'm Agnes (she/they), I am a first-generation, queer filipinx, who grew up in the San Fernando and Simi Valleys of Southern California.  I'm the founder and executive director of ESCC.  I currently call Mammoth Lakes home, ancestral lands of the Northern Paiute and Eastern/Western Mono Monache.  My parents would take my brother and I on too long road trips to National Parks and Monuments which at the time I did not appreciate.  After completing an environmental studies degree from UCSB, I joined the California Conservation Corps AmeriCorps Backcountry Trails Program to live and do trail work in a National Park for 5 months, which completed changed my perspectives. Those 5 months in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park launched the following 10 years of seasonal work - snowboarding and bartending on Mammoth Mountain in the winter and leading young people working trails each summer.  On both fronts, I worked my way to leadership positions.  This included Food and Beverage manager, SEKI Trails Foreman, and eventually promoted to program coordinator for the Backcountry Trails Program.  With the help of close friends and the support of my partner, in 2015, I left my state job to take some time to set the foundations for ESCC.  In less than 2 years, ESCC became a 501c3 nonprofit, and we put boots on the ground with an all-women crew in 2017.  Since then we have served about 100 alumni and nearly double in programming each season.  

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