Hike & Heal with GRIT Chairs September 18th

This past Sunday 9/18, North Quabbin Trail Association held another successful Hike and Heal event, this time at the Historic Tully Meadow Farm in Orange, MA. Situated at the end of a series of rustic winding roads through the countryside, this remote and peaceful location was a perfect spot for the multifaceted events of the day. People of varying abilities were all able to enjoy a comfortable experience with a handicap accessible bathroom on site, and an assortment of experiences to choose from, all aimed at the crucial mission of the event; PTS Suicide Awareness and Prevention and GRIT Freedom Chair awareness. Among the crowd were members of the North Quabbin Trail Association staff, as well as it’s founder and current director Bobby Curley, members of staff from North County Land Trust, members of the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center (MVOC), Mt Grace Land Trust staff, several professional healers, and of course, the community members whom organizers sought to serve.


Some attendees chose to walk the extended distance which relocated the road section of the trail to instead pass through the Department of Fish and Wildlife Management Area in the bio meadows at the base of Tully mountain. Others opted to take part in one of the mini retreats facilitated by gifted healers and peruse the handcrafted aromatherapy and organic body works products available. All were encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to experience the GRIT freedom chairs, an outdoor-grade wheelchair designed by engineers at MIT and offered for the service of the event by North County Land Trust, where they are publicly available for use. This self-powered equipment, which can also be used in conjunction with a co-navigator, has already helped many people of differing abilities to reclaim their active engagement with the outdoors and expand their options for mobility. Hopefully, through events like this one, more people can become aware of this resource and join in with those already experiencing the benefits it has to offer.


Thank you to everyone who came out to join us for this serene day, and to the many people who helped organize and facilitate the wonderful activities we enjoyed together. If you are interested in borrowing one of North County Land Trust’s GRIT Freedom Chairs, please contact info@northcountylandtrust.org and since this is a new and growing program we are eager to hear feedback that can help us frame out our lending program, so feel free to let us know what you think!