‘Beyond Boundaries’ Helps Others Overcome Challenges to Getting Outside

July 20, 2017 · 2 minute read

That feeling in your stomach as you’re about to drop into Hollywood Rapid. Floating under the suspension bridge that leads Richmonders to Belle Isle as onlookers enviously wave down at you. Laughing with some of your closest friends as your raft guide tells you that they watched some Youtube videos last night on how to steer a raft. Struggling to reel in that big blue catfish that’s bending the end of your fishing rod. These are experiences that many Richmonders have enjoyed — white water rafting or fishing in the waters of the historic James River over the years.

Youth on a rafting trip BB ran earlier this summer with an organization called Boys to Men. This is a shot of the group cooling off in the James.

Now imagine you are a member of our community who uses a wheelchair or has a visual impairment. It’s possible you’ve gone through your entire life thinking that outdoor adventure just wasn’t meant for you. Maybe you heard people around you say “it’s too dangerous.” The idea that rafting, hiking and fishing is only meant to be enjoyed by a certain portion of our community is something that Beyond Boundaries is trying to change.

Beyond Boundaries is a Richmond-based nonprofit that helps to open the world of outdoor adventure to all members of our community. The mission of Beyond Boundaries is to offer individuals of all ability levels, no matter their physical, cognitive or economic situation, the opportunity to experience outdoor activities within the surrounding community. Beyond Boundaries was created in 2013 by two Richmond natives who have a passion for opening the door to the outdoor world to people who may have not had that opportunity previously. Beyond Boundaries partners with RVA Paddlesports, a commercial rafting & kayak instruction company in RVA, to make all of this possible.

For the past three summers Beyond Boundaries has provided whitewater rafting, hiking and other outdoor activities to a wide range of organizations, from assisting youth and adults with visual impairments to a mentoring group that helps young men who grew up without strong male role models. With all of the great outdoor activities offered around the Richmond area, we are excited to announce the addition of a fishing program this summer.

We still think Outside Magazine was right in 2013 when they named Richmond the “Best River Town”. It’s our mission to make sure that every person in our community has the opportunity to experience our amazing outdoor adventure city.

If you would like more information about Beyond Boundaries or are interested in booking a trip or volunteering to help with a rafting, hiking or fishing program, please visit our website or e-mail us at beyondboundariesrva@gmail.com. Let’s work together to make the trails, rivers and fishing holes of the greater Richmond area accessible to everyone.