Imagine you are in the middle of a field—the smells, the feel of the ground under your feet, the plants and animals around you. Butterflies and honeybees crisscrossing the air in their search for nectar. Spending time in nature like this has been scientifically proven to improve brain function and benefit overall well-being, but what if you can’t get to the middle of a field in your wheelchair? For those with mobility, hearing, vision, developmental or cognitive disabilities, spending time in nature is sometimes no easy task.
Peter Hoffman, co-founder and Chairman of the Board for Wilderness Matters is part of a team who believes that access to nature is imperative for all people, regardless of ability. “We’re trying to make it easy for everyone to get out into nature and truly experience it. Not just view it— engaging with it.”
Back in 2013, Jack McMahon had the notion to bring the wilderness to all people. After a major bicycle accident left him a quadriplegic, McMahon realized that his disability limited his ability to engage with nature. “He was trying to recover and wanted to help others,” says Hoffman. “He realized that there was