Common Ground helping wounded veterans and hoping for permanent Beaver Mtn facility

Whatever the age and whatever the disability, Common Ground Outdoor Adventures has a recreational opportunity to provide. Executive Director Sammie Macfarlane says with adaptive equipment people of all ages have a chance to enjoy activities in the outdoors.

Macfarlane says there’s a special outing next week with a group of wounded military personnel and veterans.

“We received a grant through the Disabled Sports USA,” Macfarlane explains. “They have a War Fighter program.

“It is free of cost to veterans who have physical disabilities. They just want them to experience these great activities to enhance their lives.”

She says this is the first major winter trip with veterans but her group does an annual river trip on the San Juan River with wounded veterans.

Besides the winter trip coming up next week, Macfarlane says there are other exciting changes happening soon. Before long there will be a home for Common Ground Outdoor Adventures at the Beaver Mountain Ski Area.

Macfarlane says for the past 14 years Common Ground has been providing adaptive skiing at the ski resort for individuals with disabilities and she says the late Ted Seeholzer, his wife Marge and extended family have been passionate about serving this group.

“We’ve struggled hauling equipment back and forth from Logan to Beaver Mountain. We’ve struggled with the accessibility of the facilities up there, moving people around,” she explains. “We first dreamed about putting in a yurt.

“Then we decided that wasn’t big enough for our growing programs. So we envisioned a 4,000 sq. ft. building that will be used year round. It will be a hub of activity for people with disabilities in our community.”

Macfarlane says the lodge will be constructed with the generous support of many local builders and suppliers. She says Eric Kleven, president of the Common Ground board who has a daughter with special needs, has already pledged $10,000 to get the project underway with an ongoing commitment of $100,000 over a five-year period.

Macfarlane says Common Ground is off to a great start and all financial contributions will be appreciated.

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