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Sierra Club Outdoors Receives Project Excellence Award

545341_10151056224433086_631953017_nCongratulations to the Sierra Club Outdoors team for being recognized by the Society for Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP) for a Project Excellence Award. Thanks also to Higher Ground, Wilderness Inquiry, Women's Wilderness Institute, and Wasatch Adaptive Sports, as well as the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment for making this research happen!

Since 1983, SORP has been serving the outdoor recreation profession. It is the Nation’s leading association of outdoor recreation and related professionals who strive to protect  our natural and cultural resources while providing sustainable recreation access.

The Project Excellence Award is presented annually to exemplary outdoor recreation projects. The award is presented to the collaborating agencies and organizations key to the success of the planning effort.  Selection criteria will include (a) unique or special circumstances, (b) problem-solving, (c) level of innovation and creativity, (e) impact or effect of project, and (f) collaborative team effort. The award may be presented to communities, special districts, public agencies, citizen groups (e.g., civic, church, youth groups, teams), private industry, non-profit organizations, cooperatives, land trusts, and other organizations who have contributed to an exemplary outdoor recreation project.

The write up for the award is below:

University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment and Sierra Club Outdoors: Exploring the Benefits of Outdoor Experiences on Veterans.

Dr. Rachel Kaplan, Dr. Jason Duvall, and Mr. Stacy Bare

“Exploring the Benefit of Outdoor Experiences on Veterans” is the first major research project for the current period of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan community that analyzed the value of outdoor recreation on the veteran and military community. The purpose of the project was to analyze short and long-term benefits on social and mental health for veterans who participated in at least four days of outdoor recreation. Four organizations in different parts of the country led 12 trips impacting 98 veterans from various conflicts. Results of this project show strong support for outdoor recreation, even without a deliberate, therapeutic component, providing significant improvements in social functioning and increased positive life outlook and point to the strong need for increased and more broadly based, as well as specific, research to take place.

The photo is courtesy of Wasatch Adaptive Sports!

The full research report is here:  Download Michigan Final Research Report

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