OUR STORY begins…
On October 26, 2013
On that day, Chris was cycling home from work and was involved in a hit and run accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Overnight, the life he once knew disappeared. As days turned to weeks and weeks to months, the severity of what Chris was dealing with began to take shape: significant long-term memory loss and challenges with his short-term memory, sensory and cognitive overload, PTSD, extreme anxiety, depression, persistent fatigue and chronic pain.
The slow road to healing…
As his personal and professional life slowly began to deteriorate, Chris took to the mountains. The same wild places that were once his playground now took on a new role in his life. They became his refuge, a place for healing. Time in nature allowed him to escape the sensory overload of the city, into the quiet and solitude of the wild.
Fast forward 6 years later…
Chris and Nat met serendipitously through their mutual friend Kate (cupid) in 2017. It was not long after that they founded America’s Wild Places together. In the years since his accident, Chris’s dream has been to give something back to these wild places that have offered so much life back to him. Nat’s dream is that through Yoga, we might remember that our bodies and the Earth are the only true homes we ever have. Both are guided by a fierce love for the outdoors, and are on a lifelong journey to advocate for the protection and preservation of our Wild Places.
“As the severity of the accident became clear, I took to the mountains.
The same wild places that were once my playground for climbing, cycling, running and paddling now took on a new role in my life. They became a refuge, a place for healing, allowing me to escape the sensory overload of the city, into the quiet and solitude of the wild.
It was during my time in the mountains that I became acutely aware that something in my vision had shifted. Colors became muted and gave way to a rainbow of grays. I found myself being drawn to the lines, shapes, patterns and textures in the landscapes around me. This came along with an intense desire to process my images in black & white.“
The Photographer is Born…
“I only found out later that this new way of seeing had a name. Transient Cerebral Achromatopsia can result from trauma to the cerebral cortex, resulting in an inability to see color for periods of time. To put it simply – I was seeing in black and white.
In a very short time, photography has become an invaluable part of my life. It is through this medium that I can share with others how I am seeing, feeling and experiencing the world around me. Photography has provided me the opportunity to confront my existential dilemma caused by the TBI. It has helped me to accept the loss of the person I was and learn to embrace the person I am today.”
“As an avid hiker, sea kayaker and diver, I was appalled by the amount of pollution and destruction that was taking place in the places I loved. I become involved in countless beach clean ups and environmental education programs, and completed a Masters degree in Sustainable Development in 2014.
My path as a an environmental activist only truly began after a friend introduced me to yoga. As my personal practice grew alongside jungle landscapes, ocean waves and mountaintops on a remote corner of Lantau Island, Hong Kong, I realized the deep transformational power of yoga in nature.
Yoga teaches us that we are not separate from nature, that we ARE nature. I believe that our love for the earth is the key in our journey to protecting it. Through this practice of yoga my hope is that we might remember that our bodies and the Earth are the only true homes we ever have.
Over the last few years I’ve worked in fundraising for WWF-UK, on the sales floor at REI, and have taught yoga to people all over the world, from Arctic Sweden to the mountains of Asheville, NC. I am excited to spend the rest of my life dedicated to the protection and preservation of Our Wild Places. “
What Guides Us
Gratitude is the cornerstone of how we choose to live our lives. Our love for the earth activates us to defend, protect and celebrate our wild places.
We believe in building bridges, not walls, and inviting everyone to take part in the conversation around conserving, protecting and celebrating our Wild Places.
We desire to explore what lies beyond the iconic landmarks of our national parks, and to highlight the hidden gems and natural wonders of the backcountry wilderness, waterways and wildlife that few visitors get to experience.
We are committed to honoring the stories of wild places and wildlife through powerful and emotive visual imagery. Through story we unleash the human capacity for empathy that has the power to connect and spark action.
We endeavour to use the media we create on our expedition to fuel conversations around the diverse environments and wildlife that make up our Wild Places, and the unique challenges they face.
We are driven by responding to the challenges of environmental degradation and climate change that our Wild Places are experiencing. We believe that by working together we can achieve unprecedented successes in conservation.
Help Us Protect America’s Wild Places!
From sharing our project with family and friends to sponsoring a park, there are many ways you can help us Protect America’s Wild Places.
Starts at $1
starts at: $3
Join our patreon
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Purchase a signature print
starts at $2000
Sponsor a park
America’s Wild Places
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