Out of all the wonderful things I have gotten to experience during my time as a communications intern for the Portland Vancouver Urban Refuge Team, one of the best was getting the chance to work with our partner Access Recreation.
Access Recreation is an organization created by Georgena Moran; a disability advocate who didn’t let her MS diagnosis impact her love for the outdoors. Through Access Recreation she has created a webpage where people of all abilities are able to find information about trails all around the Portland Metro area and see which one fits their needs. Through her partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife, I was able to meet her and learn more about the history of her organization, as well as attend a training in which I could apply the teachings in person at a local park.
With Georgena and her partner Sharon as our teachers, we arrived at the park and quickly saw that there were a multitude of simple things we as able-bodied individuals took for granted. From the parking lot, to the trail width and slope, and the most eye opening to me, bathroom access. Georgena helped us see all the ways in which a space could be welcoming or alienating to people with disabilities.
This experience with Access Recreation was very valuable and was a great way to engage with a community in which I hadn’t had much of a chance to before. Meeting and working with the partners of the Urban Team of the US Fish and Wildlife has been a great experience and I’m excited to see how else I can serve them and their communities.
Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Program: US Fish & Wildlife Service
Location: Portland-Vancouver National Wildlife Refuges
MANO Project is an initiative of Hispanic Access Foundation.