Connections Expands Connect with Friends Program


Contact: Jessica Standiferd, 

Weld County, Colorado, January 31, 2023 – Connections for Independent Living has received an Outdoor Equity Grant Program (OEGP) for funding that will allow the nonprofit to expand an existing adult service that breaks down barriers and increases access to outdoor recreation, environmental and conservation-based education and outdoor related career development. The new program will specifically target youth who face challenges to outdoor access due to living with a disability. 

With the $22,000 award, Connections will expand its current Connect with Friends programming to a specialized outdoor emphasis for youth with disabilities within its seven-county service region, which includes Weld, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Yuma and Washington counties. Youth between the ages of 14-17 who have an interest in a social group that focuses on outdoor accessibility will be given an opportunity to participate at no cost. The program features four sessions of approximately three weeks each. Potential workshops may include Kayaking and adaptive water sports, Pawnee Grasslands Exploration, and Photo-Voice.

Registration will begin in spring of 2023 and run through autumn 2023 with an additional year of programming in the spring/summer of 2024. Outdoor areas, such as the Poudre River Trail, the Pawnee Grasslands, Rocky Mountain National Park and more will be explored via partners who provide mobility adaptive transportation as well as other means of adaptive accessibility. 

Rochelle Mitchell-Miller, CEO of Connections said: “We are honored to be chosen for this amazing funding opportunity. The ability to share what we learned in our past programming and the excitement it created in introducing people to adaptive and accessible outdoorsmanship was phenomenal! To expand that to youth with disabilities in our community is an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. Some of these young people may believe that there is no way they could enjoy the Poudre River Trail or go kayaking or learn that there is a completely accessible camp spot in Rocky Mountain National Park (that we have tested ourselves!) and we are thrilled to show them the possibilities in their own backyard!”

If you or someone you know may be interested in participating, please contact us at or 970-352-8682 for more information. Transportation and other obstacles or access issues will NOT prevent you from participating! Any youth with a disability, including invisible disabilities that may or may not be documented, are welcome. We require no physician information or other. We empower and embrace all disabilities.