Why I joined Recover to Protect Our Parks with Michaelyn Koss Foy

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Michaelyn Koss Foy is one of those energetic, magnetic women who “has had every job under the sun.”  Currently, she is settled into one of the hardest full-time professions out there: motherhood.  As part of Recover’s Protect Our Parks summer campaign, we will be featuring spotlight interviews with everyday Americans who inspire us, and who are inspired by our nation’s National Parks.  This month, we are featuring Michaelyn, from Asheville, North Carolina.


Let’s start with the roots… Where are you from?

I’m from Atlanta.  Growing up, I spent most of my time in mid-town in the city, but we did live in Sewanee, Tennessee for 3 years.  That was the beginning of the foundation of my love for the outdoors.  I rode my bike to school and to friends’ houses, we were surrounded by woods and I always drove my parents crazy because I was constantly getting dirty falling in mud and in creeks.  I also lived a couple of years in LA.  LA gets a bad rap with the smog and traffic, but I lived within walking distance of Griffith Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in the US.


What was your biggest influence in your love of National Parks?

While I was in the city, I was always outside, but my biggest influence was leading Moondance Adventures outdoor trips for teens.  Growing up, I didn’t travel much.  I got in the car and went to the beach, so working for Moondance opened the door to what’s out there for me.  It expanded my horizons in terms of our National Parks.  We hiked and camped in the most life-changing, beautiful places that I didn’t even know existed right here in the US.  


What’s your favorite National Park and Why?

I’d probably say the Cascades in Washington.  It was the first outdoor trip I led, and ironically, my first backpacking trip.  In the North Cascades, you can also just do a day hike to a lake to swim in.  When I was at Ross Lake, I had this epiphany of “I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now” that I’ve only had a couple of times in my life.  It felt so right on the glacial blue majestic lake and gorgeous trail.  I was 25 at the time, but remember feeling, I’m going to come back here and I’m going to take my kids back here.


What's your favorite thing about Recover shirts or other gear?

My favorite thing about Recover shirts is that if you didn't know the behind-the-story, you would just think it was a really awesome, soft cotton shirt.  Particularly the sweatshirts are the best I’ve ever owned; I get them for everyone for gifts.  I love that with Recover, before you’re sold by the mission, you just like it because it feels good.


What are some of your favorite things to do around Asheville?

My husband and I do a huge annual camping trip with family and friends at a place in Pisgah.  Last year, we had 30 adults, 20 kids, and 10 dogs and just took over a whole field for three nights.  We all went hiking and mountain biking.  My kids have been sleeping in a tent here and there ever since each was 9 months old.  They LOVE it.  It’s a child’s paradise because you can get dirty and can’t get into trouble for it- it’s heavenly for them.  One will be 4 next month, and the other one will be 3 in September- he has already said he wants a camping party in that same place in Pisgah for his birthday.


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