Nurture Meets Nature: Hike It Baby

By Christy Piña

In this day and age, it can be hard to raise an outdoorsy child. Unlike the children who grew up right before the technology boom, children today tend to steer away from the outdoors in favor of indoor electronic devices. Hike It Baby is dedicated to bringing children back from the electronic age a little bit and teach them about nature.

Hike It Baby is a non-profit organization that works to reconnect families, primarily with children from birth to school age, with the outdoors through hikes and activities. Their aim is to raise a generation that loves the outdoors.

The organization began in 2013 when Founder Shanti Hodges invited a few friends to join her for a hike. As their hikes became more consistent, the number of participating families grew beyond what Hodges expected. Today, “Hike It Baby” has more than 300 branches across the country with close to 180,000 families involved. Monthly hikes have grown from a dozen, to a hundred, to more than 4,000 today.

Gainesville and Tallahassee both have their own chapters in which families throughout the city may get involved. The two chapters host a variety of events, like urban strolls, toddler crawls and park and plays.

The organization relies on volunteers to plan outdoor activities in their area. It is open to moms, dads, partners, grandparents, nannies, foster parents, relatives or even friends. Whoever wants to partake in the activities may do so.

To help raise another generation of outdoorsmen and women and help your children to grow beyond the technological aspects of today’s world, check out your local branch and run with it!


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