Project coordinator's update

March 2017

Today, the sweet smell of Daphne blooms in my yard is wafting through the air.  Surely the sign that spring is near! The crocuses and other spring flowers are popping up. This is such a great time of year to take advantage of those nice days as spring starts to overtake the winter doldrums. Spring is optimal for birdwatching as well. Hiking the refuge and nature parks on the AccessTrails website offers the ultimate nature experience in the spring.

Access Recreation [AR] is completing its winter tasks and gearing up for spring hiking. For the last three months, the AR field and web teams have been working diligently on bringing all the information on the various trail webpages up to date. As of this writing, 30 of the 36 targeted parks/trails have been updated with the exception of the maps and videos.

Maps and videos take a significant amount of time and attention to gather and add all the necessary information to make them as useful and accurate as they are. The proposed completion date for maps is the end of June. Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, one of the final five videos for this grant cycle, is in the editing process. The remaining four videos will be completed by the end of September, taking advantage of the better weather in the spring and summer, to shoot video.

The winter months have also been a time to work on updating the AR and AccessTrails homepages and secondary webpages found in the blue bar at the bottom on some of the AccessTrails webpages (and bottom of this page). These are links to information about AR, AR projects, partners and contact information. The Contact us webpage also contains a short survey which will be helpful in improving the information we provide. Whether you enjoy the information from AR's projects or see where it could be improved, we'd love to hear from you!

Access Recreation Update from Georgena Moran

AR has been giving presentations at various venues promoting outdoor recreation. Presentations have been tailored mostly to agencies that steward trails in the Portland – Vancouver region. These are meant to entice these agencies to follow AR's lead and provide the necessary information on trails, especially those that aren't designed to be accessible, so people of all abilities can know before they go!

In the upcoming months, AR will be focused on promoting the AccessTrails Project to user groups. Primarily, groups that support people with disabilities. We, intentionally, have put this off until the webpages were more complete. Now is that time.

We have begun scheduling dates for the trail reviews on the final five trails/parks in this grant cycle. All trails will be reviewed by the end of June. All 36 trail/park websites will be complete by the end of September. One will be a water trail on the Tualatin River, with our partner, the Tualatin Riverkeepers.  AR is also partnering with our fiscal sponsor, Independent Living Resources, to conduct a field trip in the spring at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Our own AR naturalist, Jennifer Kepler, will teach you how to bird-by-ear. Check our list of upcoming events on the AR main page for the date [in April or May] and how to be involved in this event.

I hope you enjoy finding new places to explore at AccessTrails throughout the seasons. Pass it on to your friends, family and colleagues so they, too, can enjoy this free and inclusive resource! Like us on our Facebook page to get regular updates on things happening in the region and beyond.

Maybe someday we will cross paths at one of these extraordinary sites. Until then…

I wish you joy and health in all your outdoor adventures!