By Joy Villa
Those who know me know I love and support this president. They should also know I love America’s greatest natural treasure— our public lands. This includes our spectacular national parks and national monuments.
I was blessed to grow up on the Central Coast of California just a few hours away from Sequoia National Forest, swimming off “The World’s Safest Beach” in Carpenteria, enjoying the region’s natural bounty at the strawberry and avocado festivals of Lompoc and Santa Barbara and hiking through the stunning hills of Santa Maria.
When I was growing up, I spent a majority of my time around nature appreciating the remarkable diversity of California’s public lands. From eight years old and beyond my life was active and adventurous, using the gorgeous beaches and parks as my playgrounds. I’d imagine myself an explorer finding new worlds in the fresh air and greenery of camping in the Mendocino forests, learning survival skills and gaining physical strength hiking paths, climbing trees and rolling on grassy hills.
Our wide, open spaces are the basis of American culture, their beauty captured in our music, art and literature. Nature inspired me to write the poetry and music I make today. Like our Constitution these shared landscapes are characteristically and beautifully American.
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Joy Villa is an award-winning recording artist, political activist, and a member of American Monuments Alliance.