Outdoor leadership award goes to Greg Lais: Congrats Greg!

Bri-Mar trial at Rattlesnake Mountain in Maine

babyturkk Flickr

A heartfelt congratulations to our friend Greg Lais for being recognized with the Paul K. Petzoldt award for outstanding achievement in outdoor leadership.

Lais received this prestigious award from the Wilderness Education Association on Feb. 20 for his work helping people of all backgrounds and physical abilities connect to the great outdoors.

“Greg’s has been a commitment to helping people escape stereotypes and to do things no one thought possible,” said the association’s president Mike McGowan. The association is a national nonprofit that promotes the professionalism of outdoor leadership.

Lais has led more than 150 wilderness adventures, most including a mix of ablebodied people and those with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities.

He is the co-founder and executive director of the Minnesota-based Wilderness Inquiry, a nonprofit group that works to connect people of all physical abilities to wild places.

Lais is a longtime friend of The Wilderness Society.

Together we’ve partnered on creating new advocates for wilderness protection and developing a new voice for wilderness preservation amongst people with disabilities and other non-traditional wilderness user groups. One such project included co-sponsoring a rafting trip for people of mixed abilities down the Green River.

Lais and Wilderness Inquiry are also the 2005 recipient of The Wilderness Society’s Environmental Heroes Award for their exceptional efforts to protect wilderness in Minnesota.

In addition to its programs for people of all physical abilities, Wilderness Inquiry has launched a successful effort to help youth in urban areas explore natural environments on an unprecedented scale.

Keep up the great work, Greg!