Here at Burley, we’re dedicated to helping people do more by bike and enjoy the outdoors. This year, we’ve partnered with the nonprofit Hike it Baby to create more resources and opportunities for families to enjoy outdoor adventures together. Learn more about this inspiring organization in our Q&A with Hike it Baby’s Director of Development.
What is Hike It Baby?
Hike it Baby is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that creates opportunities and removes barriers to access so families with babies and young children can take their first steps outside. We believe all families have the right to connect with nature, benefit from spending time outdoors, and be inspired to a lifelong love of nature.
Can you share a bit about the history of the organization?
Our founder Shanti Hodges, started Hike it Baby in Portland, OR when her son Mason was born and she wanted to continue spending time outside. She invited some friends. And those friends invited friends. And those friends moved and invited new friends. Within just two years, Hike it Baby had grown to more than 300 branches across the US and Canada.
What is the most important work that this organization does?
We help ALL families to get outside so we all can enjoy the benefits of spending time outdoors.
How has Hike it Baby’s work made a difference?
The outdoors has historically been a place for older white men who can hike epic peaks with all the newest, greatest gear. Hike it Baby is working to rewrite this narrative so all people; mothers, children, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, ALL people feel welcome and comfortable in the outdoors. We have a long way to go but in the last seven years, Hike it Baby has empowered, connected and inspired thousands of families with babies and young children to spend time outside so they too can enjoy the benefits of the outdoors.
What plans/goals does Hike it Baby have for this year?
2021 is a big year for Hike it Baby. Our community is the backbone of Hike it Baby so being unable to hike together for the last year has been rough. We’re excited to launch several new programs, like the Wander Walks that Burley has sponsored, to help families get outside while we can’t hike safely together, as well as other programs like We Got Your Back that introduce brand new mothers to the outdoors and help families who need support getting outside.
How does outdoor recreation, and access to outdoor recreation opportunities support Hike it Baby’s goals?
If all families can access, and feel welcome and comfortable in the outdoors we’ve done our job. But there is a lot to be done to get there. We need more green space, particularly in urban areas. And we need safe green spaces where families and mothers and children feel safe. We need gear that fits all bodies. We need gear that is affordable.
What HIB program are you most excited about?
It’s hard to pick just one but as a mother of an infant I am so excited for our New Mom Welcome Book that we are distributing to hospitals and birth centers across the country to support moms in taking their first steps outside with their new baby. And as a mom of a toddler I am also so excited for Wander Walks. I’ll be first in line with my older toddler when they launch in San Diego to enjoy the weather and get some two-year-old wiggles out.
Why did you get involved?
Plain and simple: I love the outdoors. It’s such a wonderful, beautiful place that I want to share with everyone. And we also need to protect it. If every child grows up loving the park and the trees and the waterfalls and the beaches they’ll take care of it and nurture it so it’s here for their children and their children’s children.
What is one of your favorite memories from working with Hike It Baby?
In spring 2019, Merrell invited me to join them at Mom 2.0 in Austin, Texas to tell all the moms there about Hike it Baby. It was so rewarding to meet so many moms who were part of the Hike it Baby community all over the US, and just as rewarding to introduce hundreds of moms to HiB. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I told a mom about HiB they told me how important they think it is for kids to spend time outside. It was incredible to feel so validated in the work we are doing and to welcome them to the HiB community.
How has Burley’s involvement impacted HiB programs and goals?
Our partners help us bring our mission to life and Burley is no exception to this. Thanks to our partnership with Burley, we are bringing Wander Walks to five locations across the US and will be able to gift several families with bike seats and bike trailers so they can spend more time outside as a family.
Your name is Hike it Baby, but what role can biking play in meeting your organization’s goals?
Hike is a very loose term for us—while a Hike it Baby hike can be anything from a stroller walk on a paved trail to an epic dirt trail in the mountains, in the loosest of terms it applies to any activity outside. If your family enjoys biking outside, we are all for it.
Where can people go to learn more about Hike it Baby and how to support your programs?