Even on a frosty December day, United General District 304 staff are preparing for warmer days and Active Living programs out in the natural beauty of Skagit County. Thanks to our partnership with Washington Service Corps, we can utilize the skills and talents of an AmeriCorps member to make these programs happen!
Although over 250,000 AmeriCorps members are currently serving across the United States, not everyone knows about the national service program that fosters civic engagement and improves lives. For people who want to make a positive impact, AmeriCorps connects them into the network of service and places them in communities where they can make a difference.
A Healthy Futures AmeriCorps does this through health education and activities that promote general well-being and work to prevent chronic disease. As a partner site to Washington Service Corps, United General District 304 has hosted a Healthy Futures AmeriCorps for the past three years to support the Skagit Nature Rx program.
This year we are delighted to have Healthy Futures AmeriCorps Hannah Williams serving with us.
Hannah moved from Columbus, OH, to Washington to serve with AmeriCorps in this position following the completion of her undergraduate studies in spring 2022. Since starting her role in September, Hannah has coordinated and led a series of four nature walks.
The Skagit Nature Rx program provides resources and opportunities for people of all ages and experience to spend quality time in nature. Modeled after the national Park Rx program, Skagit Nature Rx offers guided walks, activities for young children, and other educational resources and programming for community members. Research continues to highlight how time spent in nature can improve physical, mental, and emotional health. Skagit Nature Rx helps folks experience these benefits for themselves, including new social connections with other group walk members!
The Senior Strides walk series offers guided, group walks to older adults (55+) in the community. Participants met at Wiley Slough, Padilla Bay, Guemes Channel, and Northern State Recreation Area to walk, talk, and picnic this past October. Hannah will resume leading nature walks in March of 2023, with the goal of reaching larger numbers of community members and introducing new trails to the walk program.
Family Treks, a guided group walk series offered to families with children ages 5 and younger, will also resume in late winter. Scavenger hunts, nature art, and bark rubbing are just a few of the fun activities little ones can participate in while walking the trails.
Throughout the rest of her service term, Hannah hopes to increase participation in Nature Rx offerings, with the goal of creating more accessibility to nature through resource and transportation assistance and continuing to increase educational opportunities through partnerships with other community organizations.
Washington Service Corps (WSC) is an AmeriCorps intermediary that has supported programs across the state for more than 30 years. WSC AmeriCorps programs focus on healthy futures, disaster preparedness and relief, education, veterans and military families, and environmental stewardship. Learn more about how WSC supports rural and urban communities across our state by visiting WashingtonServiceCorps.org