Access to Nature for ALL
In the ten years that NatureTrack has been taking Santa Barbara County’s school-age kids on outdoor field trips, Steve Schulz has volunteered as a docent for nine of them, sharing his extensive knowledge of local flora. Yet in that time, Schulz has never been able to enjoy the beautiful trails of the Arroyo Hondo Preserve, a single beach field trip or numerous other field trip locales. That’s because Schulz has been a wheelchair user since 1999.
This year, NatureTrack expanded its field trip program to include NewTracks. Using Freedom Trax, a device which quickly transforms a manual wheelchair into a battery-powered, all-terrain vehicle which can easily traverse sand and trails, NewTracks provides field trips for wheelchair users and others with physical disabilities. Now, Schultz can enjoy many beaches and trails that have been inaccessible to him for 20+ years.
NatureTrack has received funding to buy nine Freedom Trax. Their goal is to acquire and maintain a total of 10 Freedom Trax to provide outdoor field trips to wheelchair users of all ages. NatureTrack also lends their Freedom Trax to other nonprofit organizations so that they too can include wheelchair users in their events and programs.
“We’re thrilled that we’re able to remove the barrier between wheelchair users and nature, allowing them to have the same experience as other students, teachers, and volunteers. It’s wonderful that we can ALL be out on the beaches and trails together,” says Sue Eisaguirre, NatureTrack’s founder and executive director.
NewTracks fulfills an essential part of NatureTrack’s mission: to connect as many people as possible to the natural world. Eisaguirre founded the organization after heading up the docent and K-12 programs for the UCSB Sedgwick Reserve. It was then that she realized she could impact more schools and students with a countywide organization.
A decade later, NatureTrack has taken more than 25,000 school-age students on outdoor field trips. The organization relies on the support of 100 enthusiastic volunteer docents to lead the trips. The program is entirely free, including transportation.
“We find every way possible to make sure everyone has the same opportunity to connect with and experience nature,” Eisaguirre says.
Founder & Executive Director: Sue Eisaguirre
NatureTrack is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to provide outdoor field trips for school-aged children at no cost to the schools or students.
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We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s director of development and/or Executive Director.
NatureTrack aims to provide inclusion, access, and opportunities to individuals who may not have had the chance to experience outdoor activities that were once deemed ‘inaccessible.’ Thanks to the Freedom Trax device, people like myself can now explore beaches and walking trails and connect with nature. Additionally, I have become a volunteer docent for NatureTrack and can lead trips to give back to this incredible organization.
Giving Everyone Access to Nature
Transportation is NatureTrack’s largest cost, and it keeps rising. Your donations help fund field trips and provide more Freedom Trax devices.
$7,500 covers a field trip for 100 students.
$6,500 buys a new Freedom Trax device.
Any donation amount is appreciated to support our mission. Field trips fill up fast each year, highlighting our need for more volunteers. Docents play a crucial role with a 5-to-1 student-to-docent ratio. Your contribution, whether financial or as a volunteer, has a meaningful impact. Please donate or volunteer today, or both!
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