This spring, the Healthy Communities and Parks Fund (Tier 1), awarded nearly $200,000 total to 14 different organizations working to improve access to parks, open space, and recreation in underserved communities of King County. One of those organizations is Needs of the Community (NOC) Society, who received almost $15,000 to provide free and accessible travel opportunities for young adults with medical illnesses and disabilities through their Camp Without Borders program.
In early September, NOC Society set out with a group of campers and volunteers for a weekend of adaptive adventures in the Cascades. After team building, karaoke, and pool time, the group was ready for their hike to Mirror Lake. Before hitting the trail, hiking partner Travel Life Adventures ensured the group understood how to hike safely together. Then they began their ascent!
After two hours of teamwork, the group reached the beautiful Mirror Lake. This was an important moment, as it was the very first time many of the participants had hiked or seen an alpine lake! After a leisurely lunch, lots of photos, and a brisk swim for some, the group headed back down the trail and cheered as they reached the vans safe, sound, and together.
“What an amazing trip it was,” shared Zac Gannet, Executive Director (USA) of Needs of the Community Society. “ALL abilities were welcomed and ALL abilities made it up and down the mountain and created once-in-a-lifetime memories.”
Parks is proud to support projects like Camp Without Borders that ensure outdoor recreation opportunities are accessible to all King County residents. Most of our grant programs are funded by the 2020-2025 Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space Levy, which allocates approximately $110 million over six years for grants for parks, recreation, and open space throughout King County.