Common Ground Outdoor Adventures (CGOA) was founded in 1993 as an AmeriCorps*VISTA project at OPTIONS for Independence in partnership with Utah State University’s Outdoor Program and Bridgerland Audubon Society. In 1997, the organization incorporated as a private non-profit and has grown to serve well over 3,600 people with disabilities annually. CGOA seeks to increase the accessibility of outdoor recreation and discover creative new ways to access wild places. The organization provides adaptive equipment and support which enables individuals with disabilities to participate in recreation and outdoor adventures. By crossing perceived limitations individuals gain self-confidence, which carries over into the quest for meaningful employment, the pursuit of relationships, and active participation in community life. All outdoor activities include discussions, activities or presentations that foster appreciation and respect of the natural environment.
Recent major accomplishments include:
Common Ground Outdoor Adventure’s mission is to provide life-enhancing outdoor recreation for youths and adults with disabilities.
To obtain the resources, equipment, facilities, and staff to provide quality physically and financially accessible outdoor recreation opportunities for every youth and adult with a disability that has the desire to participate. We want to do all we can to remove barriers and enhance people’s lives through recreational experiences, while reducing the stereotypes society has about people with disabilities.
Our staff come from a variety of professional backgrounds and experiences in adaptive outdoor recreation, and are passionate about helping others get outside!
Sammie has been with the organization since 1999. Under her leadership, CGOA has seen monumental growth in all areas and continues to be a tremendous asset to the community. Sammie is passionate about progressing the organization. During her free time she enjoys skiing, river rafting, paddle boarding, and mountain biking with her family.
Lauren graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington with a degree in recreation in June 2016, with a concentration in therapeutic recreation. Lauren is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), and spends most of her time planning destination trips at CGOA. Lauren likes to ski, mountain bike, and explore the outdoors with friends, family, and her dog, Alta.
Alex has been working in the outdoor industry for almost 10 years. After getting his Bachelor’s in Outdoor Leadership, he worked for the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center where he discovered his passion for Adaptive Recreation. Since then he has been focusing on working with people of all abilities in a myriad of recreational activities. After spending 2 years in Oregon, Alex found Common Ground and is really excited about being back in the snow and the sun. He is really excited to be exploring the Cache Valley and the rest of the State of Utah with his family and with Common Ground.
Olive grew up in Minnesota, and moved to Idaho to pursue a degree in Therapeutic Recreation. Along the way she fell in love with the mountains and moved to Logan in order to be closer to them. She is serving her year as an AmeriCorps VISTA at CGOA, and then will be attending Utah State University to finish her Bachelor's degree. She loves hiking, running, yoga, and finds any excuse to spend time outside and reconnect.
Beaver Mountain Adaptive Center Manager
Jodi hails from outside of Pittsburgh, PA. She went to West Virginia University for Exercise Physiology. When she is not at work you will often find her out enjoy the outdoors with her dog; biking, skiing, snowboarding, or hiking. She has her level one adaptive certifications for both skiing and snowboarding. She joins the Common Ground team and brings many years of experience in adaptive sports.
Mike is a Logan, UT native who has been involved with Common Ground for several years. Many of the day to day functions around the office would be impossible without Mike's continued assistance. Thanks Mike!