Outdoor Lifestyle Helps Drive Southern Nevada’s Livability

Mauricia Baca always knew her life would be centered on the outdoors.

Growing up in New York City, Baca spent many hours exploring Manhattan.

"One of my favorite things to do was to walk," Baca said. "I called them urban hikes."

Baca, 41, is executive director of the Outside Las Vegas Foundation, a nonprofit organization aiming to connect Southern Nevada residents with outdoor areas and public lands.

Baca became executive director in January 2010. She quickly became an expert on Southern Nevada's outdoors and the area's environmental issues.

The Las Vegas Valley has more than 600 miles of trails that have been branded as "Neon to Nature." Through the foundation's website, a person can locate a nearby trail. There is no excuse, she said, for remaining indoors.

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