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County launches 'Experience The Outdoors' program

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Posted at 8:32 PM, Aug 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-10 23:32:22-04

MIRA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) — Wednesday, the county launched its 'Experience The Outdoors' program at the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve.

"The goal of this program is simple. It is to get more San Diegans out into the incredible resources available to you," County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.

The program aims to break down cost, equipment, and training barriers that can keep families from enjoying the county's 23 regional parks.

"There's a lot of people who just generally don't feel comfortable in parks and so we thought if we could create some really fun first-timer experiences for them, then they will get a chance to come out and try new stuff," said Jessica Geiszler, Marketing and Public Outreach Manager of Parks and Recreation.

The Park 101: First-timer series includes lessons on how to build a tent, kayak, or fish.

The program also offers a course on mountain biking.

All activities are free, and the equipment is provided, which is important, especially for low-income families.

"As a youth who has formerly experienced homelessness, I know the feeling of having limited options," said Keanu.

It's why Keanu got involved with Outdoor Outreach, an organization that provides nature activities for youth.

"It bridged this equity gap. You get to put aside the worry about the cost. You get to really just focus on being in the outdoors, connecting with nature," he said.

The county is partnering with Outdoor Outreach to provide rock climbing lessons.

Keanu hopes exploring the outdoors will be just as therapeutic for others as it is for him.

"You get to take a pause from all these things happening around you and it is just peaceful," Keanu said.