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National Great Outdoors Month: the beauty and beat of the El Paso heat

Iziah Moreno
McKelligon Canyon is one of multiple places where people can enjoy National Great Outdoors month.

National Great Outdoors Month is dedicated to experiencing and appreciating the beauty of the outdoors. The month serves as a reminder of the importance of nature conservation and the benefits of outdoor activities 

National Great Outdoors Month celebrates its fifth anniversary since the U.S. Senate officially designated June as the monthly celebration in 2019. 

Throughout June, there is no better way to celebrate than indulging in various outdoor activities and exploring El Paso’s natural beauty. 

Some of those outdoor activities in the city of El Paso can include hiking, camping, and rock climbing in locations such as Franklin Mountain State Park, Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site. Another example is McKelligon Canyon, where one can enjoy picnic areas, hiking trails, and an amphitheater. 

Immersing in nature and partaking in outdoor activities has many benefits. National Great Outdoors Month promotes the appreciation for natural resources, social interactions and community bonds, mental well-being, and overall fitness. Besides the national beauty and landmarks, the Sun City offers a variety of community-led outdoor activities. 

Run For It EP, is a social run club based in the El Paso area, that hosts weekly weekend runs. Thomas Chavarria is co-founder of Run for It EP, alongside co-founder Freddy Arellano. 

In 2018, the run club started with small weekly run groups hosted at local businesses like Later Later, Savage Goods, and Pure Bar.  

“We have grown throughout the years, we like to work with different local businesses and really just bring the community together,” Chavarria said. 

On June 15, Run For It EP hosted their weekend run “Super Soak’d Saturday!” This event encouraged runners to stay active while staying safe in the summer heat. 

As temperatures rose to 107 °F, the run club used water guns and water balloons to cool down and battle the elevated temperatures.  

“It was appropriate given the summertime, to bust out the water guns and water ballons and it was a good time,” Chavarria said. 

Safety is important when practicing any outdoor activity. Staying hydrated, wearing loose clothes, and using sunscreen are key to a safe outdoor celebration. 

“The only times we suggest running is really early in the morning, and once the sun goes down,” Chavarria said. 

Uriel Aranda is a member of various running clubs in El Paso and advocates for outdoor activities.  

“I mean anything outdoor is always good for the body,” said Aranda.  

Community-led activities are a great way to encourage outdoor activities, and Aranda inspires community members to join outdoor activities and stay motivated  

“I’m just doing what I love, and people see that, and people really come to me sometimes and tell me that I inspire them a lot, and that’s really a nice feeling,” Aranda said. 

June serves as a reminder of the importance of nature and how people can celebrate and enjoy the outdoors. Outdoor activities are beneficial for physical and mental health, so we celebrate National Great Outdoors Month every day. 

Frida Acuna is the arts & culture editor and may be reached at [email protected]. 

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About the Contributors
Frida Acuna
Frida Acuna, Arts & Culture Editor
Frida is majoring in multimedia journalism, with a minor in creative writing. She plans to become a fashion editor and loves to watch movies and read in her free time.
Iziah Moreno
Iziah Moreno, Photo Editor
Iziah Moreno is the photo editor for The Prospector. He is a freshman majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in marketing. After graduation, he hopes to work in the world of photojournalism and media.
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