Sailing adventures for Van Asselt youth

real1At Seattle Parks and Recreation, we believe that access to invigorating ways of enjoying nature are key to any great city’s livability. And here in Seattle, we are blessed to live in an area with mountains, forests and water at our doorstep. But for many residents, access to recreational opportunities to get out and enjoy these natural resources is out of reach.

That’s why our 26 community centers have a special focus on providing meaningful recreation opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds, including older adults, people from low-income households, and differently abled populations. Recently, the Van Asselt Community Center took a group of nine youth for a day of sailing and paddle-boarding activities with Sail Sand Point, a non-profit community boating center located in Seattle’s Magnuson Park.

The goal of the outing was to get young people from the New Holly community out of their comfort zones and expose them to a new experience, one that they might not normally have the opportunity to take part in. Our staff leader on the trip was impressed with the energy and interest of the group: “Each participant was very respectful, punctual, and thoughtful, and group morale was very high. They all participated in the sailing and paddle boarding activities that were provided, and had it not been for our time constraints, would have stayed until it was dark. I observed several individuals looking after the health, safety, and well-being of the group, and even those who were shy or apprehensive at first broke out of their shells and participated with enthusiasm and gusto.”

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