The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) is proud to be an AAW Network Host, providing outdoors access for individuals with mobility challenges. Through this partnership, ABSF offers one of the 27 AAW’s outdoor wheelchairs (OWC) available at no cost, requiring a refundable $50 deposit and survey. These all-terrain chairs are labeled “hiking boots,” because they can go where regular wheelchairs cannot. Residents and visitors can reserve the AAW chair and take it to their favorite private or public lands using the provided enclosed AAW trailer, while organizations can enhance access to their outdoor events and activities by reserving AAW resources.

AAW, a nonprofit organization, aims to promote equity and healthy living by facilitating outdoors access for individuals with temporary and permanent mobility challenges. The impact of having an AAW OWC in Sawyer County is profound, as it improves the lives of individuals and their families by reducing feelings of depression and isolation and increasing independence and spontaneity. With a goal to have an AAW OWC in each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, AAW and Birkie are extending the reach by increasing public access to nature and recreational opportunities while promoting environmental stewardship from education to leadership for Sawyer and surrounding counties. Together collaborate on community-driven programs and services that empower individuals of diverse backgrounds and all ages. Welcome Birkie as a champion for outdoors accessibility!