All Terrain Georgia
Enabling individuals with mobility impairments to experience the healing qualities of Georgia's natural resources.
All Terrain Georgia is an initiative of the Aimee Copeland Foundation (ACF) and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Their goal is to enable individuals with mobility impairments to experience the healing qualities of Georgia's natural resources. ACF, in collaboration with the Georgia DNR, provides and maintains all-terrain chairs (ATC) for this purpose.
Aimee Copeland is the Executive Director and Founder of the Aimee Copeland Foundation. She is a psychotherapist, activist, registered yoga instructor, competitive swimmer, and executive director of Aimee Copeland Foundation. Copeland contracted flesh-eating bacteria at a tragic ziplining accident that ultimately led to quadruple amputations. She went on to complete a dual masters degree in psychology and social work.
Copeland served as an intern at a top 10 rehabilitation hospital where she used her experience and training to teach others to cope with life changing circumstances and thrive. Shortly after her injury, Copeland launched the Aimee Copeland Foundation to bridge the gap between nature and accessibility. Copeland is the Chief Executive Officer of Grant Park Counseling Group in Atlanta, GA and practices psychotherapy as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Aimee holds certifications as a Clinical Hypnotherapist and a Clinical Trauma Provider and has training and experience using mindfulness-based modalities, internal family systems therapy, and somatic psychotherapy.
After a zip-lining accident in 2012, I was hospitalized and diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis – a flesh-eating, bacterial infection. While the doctors worked hard to save my life, they had to amputate both of my hands, my right foot and my entire left leg. I was 24 years old and grateful that I survived – but the road to recovery that lay before me felt overwhelming.
Before the infection, I was extremely active. You could often find me rock climbing, backpacking and trail running. So I quickly became frustrated with what seemed to be my new situation – just sitting in a wheelchair. A huge part of who I was no longer seemed accessible to me. And I wasn’t alone. People who use wheelchairs are often separated from the outdoors due to mobility and accessibility issues.
Being in a wheelchair has shifted my perspective, as I now fully realize the daily challenges faced by people with disabilities. And throughout my recovery, it became evident that physical barriers are not the only obstacles these individuals must overcome. People with auditory, visual, cognitive and behavioral impairments also have unique mental health needs.
Since the accident, I have relearned how to connect with nature. I bike, swim, kayak and lay in the grass – just like I used to. Reconnecting with the outdoors has been an essential component to my physical, mental and spiritual recovery. And developing a safe space that promotes healing, while providing accessible outdoor environments, has become my passion and my goal.
To do this, I created the Aimee Copeland Foundation, which raises funds to create opportunities for connecting with the self, the community, and the earth – right here in metro Atlanta. ACF provides a fleet of all terrain wheelchairs for free use by people with disabilities within select Georgia state parks.
We also award scholarships for workshop retreats, as well as educational programs in restorative destinations, where participants learn to harness the healing power of modern health technologies such as biofeedback, mindfulness, and compassion-based strategies in an innovative approach to hack resilience in our own lives.