EPI's Day Habilitation Program Collaborates with Cedar Valley Trails
by Katie Slade on Friday, October 4, 2019
EPI's Day Habilitation program is partnering with Waterloo Leisure Services staff and Cedar Trails Partnership to keep Cedar Valley trails maintained for the community to enjoy.
Our Day Habilitation program supports more than 70 persons with disability in developing life skills and helping them connect with their community. Volunteering, they've found, is a win-win.
Tom Engelbrecht, EPI's Business Developer, and Roger White, Volunteer Coordinator for the Cedar Trails Partnership saw an immediate opportunity when they met.
"The Cedar Valley is known for its over one-hundred miles of great bicycle/recreational paths throughout the Waterloo and Cedar Falls area. Although these trails are a wonderful resource to be used by the public, they also need to be maintained and cleaned - which is no easy task." stated White.
EPI's Day Habilitation will be helping to keep the trails cleaned and clear for the community to enjoy, especially in select areas with higher levels of use that tend to need a more consistent amount of attention and upkeep.
The volunteers will assist Waterloo Leisure Services, Cedar Falls Parks staff, and Cedar Trails Partnership who already devote time and energy to trail maintenance, "The volunteer work that EPI is proposing to do will be of great benefit to the community. We are excited about this partnership!" said Todd Derifield, Waterloo City Forester with the Waterloo Leisure Services.
"So strong are the relationships that have been developed, the people we serve spend some of their free time volunteering at sites outside of the program. They develop friendships, contacts, and even personal references to use on job applications." remarked Chris Sparks, EPI executive director.
The Day Habilitation group currently volunteers at the Humane Society, Sunrise Petting Zoo, Northeast Iowa Food Bank, various assisted living centers, and now Cedar Valley Trails - just to name a few.
“When we volunteer, I feel like we’re doing the right thing. I always want to be helpful. Helping others is a good feeling for me, and I know it makes the people we’re helping feel good too” stated Kay Arms a member of the volunteer group.
EPI's Day Habilitation program is out every weekday of the year volunteering or looking for ways to volunteer and make a genuine difference in the community.
"When the word “volunteering” comes up in a conversation, I want people to think “EPI,” Tom Engelbrecht, EPI's Business Developer. "It's truly one of those win-win opportunities."