This fall, Hipcamp joined forces with Huckberry and the Billion Oyster Project and kicked off its first Leave It Better event in NYC. The theme leans on the idea that while we experience and spend time in nature, we have a simple choice to make: what footprints will we leave behind and what will our impact be? With this in mind, we invited ecologist Charles Post to interview a diverse group of inspiring leaders all with unique ties to nature in and around New York City, to talk about their work and how they’ve chosen to #LeaveItBetter in their own way.
Charles Post is an ecologist and filmmaker, co-founder of The Nature Project, Ecology Editor of Modern Huntsman, and a Fellow of the Explorers Club who calls Southwest Montana home. With nearly a decade of experience working as a field researcher and studying at U.C. Berkeley while earning his Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree in ecology, Charles harnesses the power of storytelling to inspire our next generation of stewards. His recent films cover topics from bird of prey migrations, desert bighorn sheep conservation in West Texas and Hawaiian food security in the face of GMOs, to wild horse management in the Great Basin and golden eagles in Idaho’s Owyhee wilderness.
Sophia Roe is a chef, spokesperson for urban farms, and an advocate for connecting the underserved with food. Born and raised in New York City, Sophia has positioned herself as a powerful force connecting urban youth with the soil and natural ecosystem systems that produce the very food she cooks with. She reminds us that food is our universal bond to nature, one that we all share. Much of Sophia’s work aims to bridge this gap and revitalize the connection between city and soil.
Pete Malinowski comes from a multi-generational oyster farming family with deep roots on Fisher’s Island, located at the eastern end of Long Island Sound. Having been raised by a family passionate about oysters and stewardship, Pete founded The Billion Oyster Project, which aims to introduce 1 billion oysters into New York City’s waterways. Oysters are not only incredible ecosystem engineers, building reefs with their shells that provide habitat for countless marine organisms, a single oyster also filters and cleans 50 gallons of water per day. These are all important reasons why oysters deserve a place in their historic habitat off the coast of New York. And how might Pete bring this project to life? With urban volunteers, of course!
Cole Barash is a Rhode Island-based photographer with deep roots in New England and New York City, where he has made his mark in the fine art photography world with bodies of work that honor working communities and their relationships with nature. Having spent many seasons working on the flats with oyster and clam farmers, Cole has a close bond with the water and wild landscapes that punctuate the eastern seaboard. His photography stands as a sort of ark, preserving the rich threads of hands and faces that represent these working people and the natural ecosystems that sustain them.
Thanks so much to our fantastic partners for collaborating with us on this event.
Huckberry for opening up their amazing store in the West Village to us for the event and to the Billion Oyster Project for their work to restore the oyster reefs to New York Harbor and for their work to #LeaveItBetter.
Thanks to Blue Point Brewing Company and Union Wine Co. for sharing their delicious drinks to enjoy throughout the evening and to Klean Kanteen for the stainless steel cups, making us very happy campers, indeed.
All photos in this post were taken by Hipcamp Photographer, Natasha Shapiro.
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