On Sunday, June 10, Exploring Roots and Police Athletic League partnered for a rock climbing session at Capen Park in Columbia, Missouri. Over half of the group had never been outdoor rock climbing before.

Our youth program serves those living in under-resourced urban areas, and seeks to foster a healing and empowering relationship between those we serve and nature, while simultaneously supporting them through the archetypal transition that comes with transitioning from adolescence into adulthood.

Studies show that those with less access to nature have overall lower measures of health as a result of nature deprivation, while at the same time, those who suffer most from adverse environmental degradation are those who have the fewest resources and are least responsible for negative environmental impacts. We feel it is a moral and ethical responsibility to play a role in addressing both environmental and social injustices that exist in our community.

The team had three routes set up on the crag and our group of 15 kids were climbing all afternoon. Every single person tried climbing – with frequent breaks in the nearby creek because it was a typical humid Missouri day – whether it was their first time or not.

Our ReWildKC program is excited about our next adventure: yoga and mindful meditation in late June and rafting on the Missouri River in July.

Exploring Roots’ mission is to build healing relationships between people and nature for the well-being of both.