Toad&Co grant sends 1,000 adults with disabilities on ten different trips to various national parks as a part of the Canoemobile tour – a partnership between Toad&Co, National Park Foundation and Wilderness Inquiry.
Santa Barbara, Calif. (March 30, 2016) – Toad&Co, the outdoor lifestyle apparel company, is proud to announce the funding of a program that will connect adults with disabilities to various national parks across the US for their first time. As a part of Toad&Co’s longtime social mission to provide opportunities for adults with disabilities, in conjunction with the National Park Foundation (NPF) and Wilderness Inquiry, this major grant given exclusively by Toad&Co will send 1,000 adults to ten national parks in 2016.
The partnership will be activated across the country via the Canoemobile - a van pulling a fleet of 24-foot voyageur canoes. The tour will stop at places such as Big Thicket National Preserve, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Golden Gate National Recreational Area, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park and more.
Toad&Co has been helping adults with disabilities to live their fullest lives since 1997 when the brand co-founded Planet Access Company (PAC), a warehouse and distribution center that provides job training and life skills to adults with disabilities. Today, 100% of Toad&Co’s inventory is picked, packed and shipped by the PAC work crew with unmatched reliability. To further its mission, in 2001 Toad&Co started a program called Search for Adventure which annually sends adults from the PAC program on once-in-a-lifetime trips into the outdoors.
“Employing adults with disabilities and connecting them to the outdoors is one of the most important things we do at Toad&Co and has been part of our mission since the beginning,” notes Gordon Seabury, Toad&Co founder. “Yet, for a multitude of reasons, adults with disabilities are often precluded from outdoor activities. This grant to the National Park Foundation aims to change that. The outdoors has given me so much. People with disabilities have the right to experience that same life-changing effect that the outdoors has had on me.”
According to the most recent U.S. Census data, 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have a disability. As a significant percent of the population, Toad&Co believes access for people with disabilities is a topic worth focusing on. This grant serves as a launch pad to create access and inspire a connection to the outdoors. All adults with disabilities who participate in the Toad&Co sponsored Canoemobile tour stops will be encouraged to apply for a free lifetime pass granting admission to over 2,000 recreational sites across the country – an existing National Park Service pass aimed at reinforcing access and creating opportunity.
“The centennial celebration is about introducing America’s incredible national parks to everyone and we couldn’t be more proud to partner with Toad&Co and Wilderness Inquiry to inspire people with disabilities to find their park,” notes Susan Newton, senior vice president of grants & programs at the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. “Our National Park System has something for everyone and we are excited to help people discover accessible experiences that speak to their personal interests and passions.”
The Canoemobile is a great example of the countless ways there are to #FindYourPark. Launched in March 2015, Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque is a public awareness and education movement to inspire people from all backgrounds to connect with, celebrate and support America’s national parks and community-based programs. Celebrating the National Park Service Centennial and setting the stage for the Service's next 100 years, #FindYourPark invites people to discover and share their own unique connections to our nation's natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history.
The program starts on April 4th and will run through November 2016. If interested in participating in a Canoemobile tour stop, visit www.toadandco.com/canoemobile.
At Toad&Co (formerly Horny Toad Activewear), we believe that the choices we make are as important as the clothes we create. Founded on the idea that you should never have to choose between living well and doing good, our clothes are meant to inspire you to live your fullest life. We do our best to make choices that are socially and environmentally smart so you can feel as good as you look. Live well, do good, and keep good company. www.toadandco.com
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.
ABOUT WILDERNESS INQUIRY
Wilderness Inquiry has provided outdoor recreation and education for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities throughout North America and around the globe since 1978. Wilderness Inquiry's Canoemobile is a traveling program of outdoor educators and Voyageur canoes that works with federal, state, and local governments, school districts, and non-profit organizations to connect underserved youth and people with disabilities to public lands and waterways. For more information visit www.wildernessinquiry.org/canoemobile.
Wilder PR, Jessica Clayton