In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please meet one of our river partners, Casting for Recovery. This incredible organization helps breast cancer survivors enjoy authentic, therapeutic connections with nature. Breast cancer has an impact on us all—our mothers, sisters, wives, partners and pals! It’s beautiful to see that rivers can help them both physically and mentally.
Our initial round of community grants helped support Casting For Recovery’s 2.5 day retreats designed to help survivors facing new challenges. Did you know that many women who undergo diagnosis and treatment experience symptoms of PTSD? Or that the gentle motion of casting is helpful for increasing mobility in the arm and upper body?
Many worthy causes apply for our community grants. Sadly, more than we’ve been able to fund. You can help us grow our capacity to help important organizations like Casting for Recovery by donating here.
Rafting, hiking and happiness go hand in hand
Sadly, kids are spending much less time in nature than their parents did in their youth, mostly thanks to technology. According to the Child Mind Institute, the average American child spends just four to seven minutes a day in unstructured play outside, and over seven hours a day in front of a screen.
Fortunately, our river partner and 2022 grantee Colorado Canyons Association helps thousands of kids and adults connect with nature—in part with funds donated by Forever Our Rivers. Focused on McInnis Canyons, Dominguez-Escalante and Gunnison George National Conservation Areas in western Colorado, their impact is impressive. For more than a decade, they’ve used these stunning landscapes as outdoor classrooms. One program is called Nature Knowledge Days and is aligned with Colorado’s curriculum standards. Another offers full day and overnight rafting trips, many of which serve students at Diné College, a public tribal land-grant college. For some, it is their first-time rafting. For others, the educational component strengthens their knowledge of rivers and the challenges they face.
One interesting study quantified that one must spend at least two hours in nature to receive its benefits. However, those 120 minutes could be accumulated all at once or over several visits. But you don’t need studies to tell you how nature can make you happier and healthier— get out while the leaves are turning and discover it yourself! The next time you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, go take a hike! You’ll see firsthand that even a little time in nature can give you a big dose of happiness.
Rivers vital for self-care
Encouraging self-care is all the rage these days and for good reason—we need it. Self-care doesn’t need to be expensive. The answer can be simple. Visit the river.
Most of us can recognize the calming effect of a walk by the river. While being near water promotes physical activity, it also reduces stress hormones and boosts mental health. Birds chirping, a gurgling river or even the sounds of leaves falling will improve your outlook and increase relaxation and happiness. While scientists continue to study this effect, we’re just happy that it happens.
- Hike along a river. A few of our favorite hikes this time of year include Avalanche Creek Trail and Mill Creek Trail.
- Canyoneer. Visit the Escalante River and admire the successful work our river partner Grand Staircase Escalante Partners have done to restore native vegetation.
- Volunteer for our river partner, the Gila Watershed Partnership. It makes you feel so good—right?
Go enjoy the healing power of rivers!