The Independent Living Center received a $4,000 grant through SCF’s 2021 competitive grant cycle for their TRAILS program. TRAILS, which stands for Total Recreation and Independent Living Services, offers year-round recreational opportunities for people who experience disabilities in the Seward and Moose Pass areas. With TRAILS, community members have explored new areas of Alaska and enjoyed life-enriching activities right here in our backyard.
COVID-19 caused challenges and restrictions for many organizations, but COVID-19 hit TRAILS especially hard. The implementation of social distancing caused participation levels to drop, and many of the people they serve suffered from increased isolation. To adapt, TRAILS decided to have a “staycation” and focused on small local outings and community events that highlighted Seward in new and varied ways. Some of these activities included weekly outdoor picnics at the Branson Pavilion, arts and craft classes at the Senior Center, outings with Kenai Fjords Tours, a halibut fishing charter, and the continued participation in the Seward Community Garden by the Bay.
TRAILS also focused on new partnerships with local vendors, such as memberships to the Alaska SeaLife Center, 5th Avenue Fitness, and a punch card for the Seward High School Pool. TRAILS also partnered with locally owned Seward Ocean Excursion to provide a scenic wildlife boat tour and exploration of beaches across the Bay. “New partnerships with local vendors such as this continue TRAILS community outreach to improve barriers experienced by individuals with disabilities,” said Micahel Gavillot, TRAILS Program Director. “Experiences such as these show the power of recreation as a means for meaningful connections.”
Funding for this grant came from the Seward Community Unrestricted Grantmaking Fund.