JLS winter in the woodlot

This blog is about my academic journey and my outdoor adventures. I enjoy hiking, canoeing, cycling and skiing. These things make me happy. A PhD was the perfect way to combine my love of the outdoors and to get out of my mid-life funk. My research is on the perception of the wilderness in the Black imagination. In other words, how to make the outdoors a more welcoming and inviting space for Black people. It is part of a larger research project on the links between race and nature.

Jacqueline L. Scott is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, OISE, in the department of Social Justice Education. She is a fellow at the Safina Center.

She volunteers as a land steward, and as a hike and bike leader with outdoor clubs. Jacqueline leads Black History Walks in Toronto. She is the author of travel and adventure books, from a Black perspective:

50 Places: A Black History Travel Guide of London

Heartbeats in Africa: A memoir of travel and love.

Sailing on a Half Moon


Scott, J. L. (2022). Black Youth on Skis: Race in the Canadian Snow. In: Smith, T.A., Pitt, H., Dunkley, R.A. (eds) Unfamiliar Landscapes: Young people and diverse outdoor experiences. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. (pp. 235-257).

National Wildlife Magazine (December 30, 2022). Making My World.

Evergreen (November 11, 2022). How our views on dogs are shaped by culture and experience.

Spacing (July 29, 2022). Biking through Barrie’s Black history.

Wellcome Collection (June 29, 2022). Parks and politics in Brixton’s past and present.

Safina Center (December 16, 2021). Snow jobs and snow stories

Network in Canadian History & Environment (November 17, 2021). Critical cycling: Race and memory on an old stagecoach route.

Safina Center (October 1, 2021). Hiking through Black history.

Spacing (July 30, 2021). Searching for Black history in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Scott, J. and Tenneti, A. (2021). Race and nature in the city: Engaging youth of colour in nature-based activities. Nature Canada.

Network in Canadian History & Environment (July 7, 2021). Naming a frog after Led Zeppelin is not a fairy tale.

Safina Center (April 6, 2021). Cycling towards justice.

Network in Canadian History & Environment (March 17, 2021). When eBird meets Black birders.

Northern Ontario Travel. (February 22, 2021). Nordic skiing in Sault Ste, Marie.

West End Phoenix (October 2020). Outside chance.

Nature Conservancy of Canada (Fall 2020). Visions of joy.

Greenbelt Foundation (September 2020). Trees, race and Black history.

Northern Ontario Travel. (July 6, 2020). Canoeing in Temagami

The Conversation. (June 2, 2020). What You Should Know About Black Birders

The Conversation. (February 13, 2020). Meet the Black snowshoers who walked 1,000 kilometres across Canada in 1813.

CBC, Player’s Own Voice. (December 18, 2019). Black Canada hike: Claiming our outdoor space.

The Conversation. (October 25, 2018). ‘Do white people dominate the outdoors?’

The Conversation. (October 14, 2018).  Melania Trump’s pith helmet is not just a hat.

The Conversation. (September 28, 2018). ‘Serena Williams did something that even President Barack Obama could not do. She got angry and showed it.’ That Racist Caricature of Serena Williams Makes me so Angry

The Conversation. (August 19, 2018). ‘How many times have I heard that Black people can’t swim because our bones are too dense? Or we can’t float as our big bottoms drag us down under the water?’ Swimming While Black


BBC Countryfile ( August 9, 2022). Hadrian’s Wall.

BBC. (June 2, 2022). Campaigners call for focus on Hadrian’s Wall 1,900-year ethnic history.

Park Prescriptions. (February 25, 2022). PaRx People: A Conversation with Jacqueline Scott.

CityLine TV. (February 6, 2022). ‘Flip the Script’: Black Canadians Breaking Barriers.

La Presse. (November 25, 2021). Pour une plus grande diversité dans le plein air.

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (November 20, 2021). All in a Weekend with Sonali Karnick. The barriers for people of colour to enjoying the great outdoors.

KCRW Radio. Life Examined with Jonathan Bastian (November 6, 2021). Racism and the Great White Outdoors

Toronto Foundation. (2021). Vital Sign Report, 2021.

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. The Current. (Sept. 26, 2021). How BIPOC farmers are working to make rural agricultural more diverse

Mountain Life (August 19, 2021). Black Outdoors/Black Imaginations.

Toronto Star. (June 5, 2021). Campaign celebrates access to nature for racialized Torontonians — ‘to show that green spaces are not just white spaces’

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (May 1, 2021). The Sunday Magazine. The intersection of birding and social justice.

The Globe & Mail. (April 21, 2021). Making Toronto’s ravines enjoyable for all.

The Bentway (January 6, 2021). Black and safe in outdoor spaces. Video with Demiesha Dennis.

The Narwhal (September 24, 2020). Toronto’s racialized communities have less access to urban forests: report.

CBC TV, Player’s Own Voice. (June 9, 2020). Black Canada Hike duo talk about how to make outdoor space more inclusive

CBC TV, The National. (June 6, 2020). Black birdwatchers push back against stereotypes, racism with #BlackBirdersWeek

The Globe & Mail, special feature. April 13, 2019. Black history on the Great Trail. Interview on the Black history cities and towns that are on the Trans Canada Trail.

Cottage Life. March 20, 2019. Breaking the colour code of the Canadian cottage experience. Interviewed by Elamin Abdelmahmoud.

Ground Magazine: Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. (2018). Round Table: Confronting marginalization.  Panel interview on stress and marginalization in the city and outdoors. Ground 44, Winter 2018.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: The Current. (October 26, 2018). MEC’s commitment to more diverse models in ads is welcome, if overdue, say critics

National Post. (October 23, 2018). ‘Do white people dominate the outdoors?’ MEC apologizes for using only white models

National Post. (May 24, 2018). Canada’s ‘adventure gap’: Why it doesn’t makes sense for the great outdoors to be such a white space.  ‘There is a sense that the outdoors is a white space, that people of colour don’t belong in that space,’ Jacqueline Scott said in an interview

Talks, Webinars and Conference Presentations

Network in Canadian History & Environment. (2022). Intersectional environmental feminisms in the digital space.

American Association of Geographers. (2022). Trees in the City: Environmental justice, community engagement & urban forest management panel.

Scott, J. and Tenneti, A. (2022). Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership Summit. Race and Urban Nature: Implications for the Park System.

University of Toronto, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. (2021). Riverdale Park: Race, place and nature in the city.

Blackwood Gallery. (2021). Black in the waters: Race and the waterways of Canada.

Scott, J. and Tenneti, A. (2021). VanDusen Botanical Garden.  Race and outdoor space: Perception and access to nature.

Ontario Urban Forestry Council. (2021). Into the woods: A Black perspective.

Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (2021). Canoeing while Black: The Canadian version.

Scott, J. and Tenneti, A. (2021). Toronto Field Naturalist. Making nature and the outdoors more welcoming for Black people and recent immigrants.

University of Illinois (2021). Black in the great white north: How race shapes outdoor recreation in Canada.

University of British Columbia, Faculty of Forestry (2021). Black in the outdoors: Navigating outdoor spaces as a Black woman.

University of Cumbria & Mosaic Outdoors (2021). Inclusivity in the outdoors panel. Walking in the woods: Closing the adventure gap.

Forests Ontario (2021). Diversity and inclusivity panel.

Bowdoin College Library (2020). From Audubon to Birdwatching while Black.

Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (2020). Moving beyond diversity.

Queen’s University and York University, ICYMI panel. How to make ecology less White. (September 17, 2020)

Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership (CPCIL). (August 6, 2020). A Canadian conversation on Black experiences in parks.

Toronto Public Library. (June 19, 2020). Black Outdoors: The connections between race and outdoor space

Toronto Ornithological Club (2018). Birding While Black: Race in the Canadian Outdoors.

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Black Canadian Studies Association (2018). Skiing While Black: Race, Landscape and Canadian Identity.

Ontario Parks (2018). Colour Outdoors: Race in the Canadian Wilderness.

North American Congress for Conservation Biology (2018). The Construction of the Wilderness in the Black Imagination.