top of page

Fresh Air Self Care for All
A Pilot Project of Kennett Outdoors and Chester County Dept. of Mental Health and Intellectual / Developmental Disabilities

Our Overall Goals

  • Our Vision: Better health and quality of life for youths and adults with Intellectual / Developmental Disabilities (IDD). This includes people with related conditions, like Autism Spectrum Disorders.

  • Our Specific Goals: We want everyone to hike weekly for fun at least one hour. We hope that many aim for health and well-being by adding 10-30 minutes of walking daily either via natural trails, active transportation, or other activities

  • Our Methods: We offer information, training, and support to caregivers & professionals to extend Chester County’s Fresh Air Self Care to help people with IDD find paths and trails that match their interests and abilities.

Our modules tailor the information, training and support that you need to meet your specific goals

Explore the need and the potential of walking paths and trails through our Stories and Research Module

All trainings begin with a review of our 30 minute Stories and Research Module. We describe the barriers people with IDD face in accessing outdoor activities for fitness, fun, adventure, and connection. We also review some of the research on negative health outcomes associated with disability.  And we draw on our own experience helping Margot to enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, and skiing to illustrate the many potential benefits.

Review these modules by clicking on the links below, or sign up for a presentation. Click here to fill out a form to receive e-mails regarding upcoming virtual presentations, or to invite us for one of a limited number of in-person presentations at your school or facility free of charge.

Image (1).jpeg

People with IDD have few chances to connect with others through outdoor adventures. Margot came to love biking, kayaking, skiing, and especially hiking. Walking opened new doors into work and active transportation. Read our story here

Storymap research and funding cover no box.png

Research shows that people with IDD are in much poorer health and often disconnected from their community, at great cost to parents and to society.  But there are effective practices to build good walking routines. Read the research here

Want to complete one hour walks for fun? Add our Walking Every Week Module

If your child, student, or client with IDD can already walk comfortably for 20-30 minutes, then you may only need general guidance. Add our 60 minute Walking Every Week Module on how to find Paths and Trails for Fun, and to Build Basic Routines to get started on paths and trails near you.


Click here to fill out a form to be notified by email when these presentations become available, to sign up for a virtual presentation, or to invite us to present one of a limited number of in-person presentations at your school or facility free of charge.

Paths and Trails for Fun

View of river flipped.png

We describe the range of paths and trails, and how the effort required can help identify your hiker's comfort zone. We review sites for finding the best options near you.

Building Basic Routines


We describe the benefits of a regular regimen of hikes, and options to ensure your hiker stays comfortable, especially as you plan longer hikes.

Want to walk more often for health and well-being, or with someone facing greater cognitive, behavioral, or physical challenges? Add our Walking Every Day Workshop

If your goal is to build a more intense walking routine to improve fitness and quality of life, especially for a child, student, or client with IDD who cannot walk comfortably for at least 30 minutes either due to mobility or behavioral barriers, add our 90-minute Walking Every Day Workshop to the Stories and Research and the Walking Every Week Modules.  We will help to you assess your hiker's current behavior, barriers, and opportunities. We will then help you to Build Resilient Routines - e.g., a more intense and individualized plan and schedule adjusted to your hiker's specific abilities and interests. The goal is to use Paths and Trails for Health by creating a "daily movement diet" that includes a longer weekly walk, shorter walks 2-3 times per week, and opportunities each day to move outdoors.


Click here to fill out a form to receive e-mails regarding upcoming virtual presentations, or to invite us to present one of a limited number of in-person workshops at your school or facility free of charge. 

Paths and Trails for Health

Margot on Stateline Fixed.jpg

We describe how to set goals based on  the stress that a trail can create depending on your hiker's abilities and interests and, how to find the best options for your hie.

Building Resilient Routines

Resilient routines.png

We describe how to plan for daily walking all year round, by considering other opportunities for exercise, active transportation, and other outdoor activities. 

bottom of page