Our Veterans program promotes healing through nature and activities in the outdoors. Over 2.8 million U.S. service members were deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Of the returning veterans, more than 30% report psychological problems. Many have come back with permanent physical injuries. While traditional treatments are often effective, the need for increased availability of alternative treatments, such as nature-based and outdoor recreational therapy, is clear. Time spent in nature has been shown to reduce stress and increase restorative health benefits—physical, physiological, and psychological.
Use the Power of Nature and Outdoor Activities to Help Veterans on Their Path to Healing
We work to connect veterans with outdoor activities and programs that will help reduce and mitigate the impacts of mental and physical trauma inflicted by war and active military duty. Being active in nature is physically restorative and has proven to have positive impacts on mental health.
Help Veterans Develop Professional Skills
We invest in outdoor and nature-based activities that can help build a spirit of teamwork, develop leadership skills, and provide practical job training for veterans, helping them feel productive, engaged, connected, and prepared to seek jobs in outdoor-related industries.
Reconnect Veterans and Their Loved Ones
We aim to increase opportunities for veterans and their families to spend quality time in nature together, allowing them to reconnect and develop tools to improve and restore relationships that have been impacted by deployment and active service.
Support Research Exploring the Effectiveness of Outdoor Programs as Alternative Therapies
We support independent research in order to better understand when, how, and why time spent in nature and activities in the outdoors may act as effective forms of alternative therapy for veterans and their families.
Engage Veterans in Lifelong Activities with Physical and Mental Benefits
We seek out programs that engage veterans of all physical abilities in lifelong outdoor activities such as fly fishing and hiking—activities that can help them cope with the ongoing impacts of war, increase resilience, and improve long-term health.
We partner with organizations that connect veterans with the physical environment as an effective, positive, and needed form of alternative therapy.
Building Hope and Resilience Through Fly Fishing
Warriors and Quiet Waters
Understanding the Restorative Power of Nature
University of Utah Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism
Using Therapeutic Recreation to Help Veterans Heal
Higher Ground Sun Valley