may, 2022

11may7:00 pm8:30 pmMay 2022 Conservation Café: Is Nature Accessible for Everyone? Team River Runner Works to Make it So!

Event Details

Is Nature Accessible for Everyone? Team River Runner Works to Make it So! Wednesday, May 11, 7-8:30 pm: Hear from Joe Mornini, CEO of Team River Runner, about how his organization helps wounded veterans and others with disabilities experience nature through boating. Kayaking can give those unable to walk a new perspective on gravity and motion – and also bring them in contact with the healing power of the water, osprey, forests, and weather. And while the health benefits of nature are well known, people with physical, as well as “invisible” disabilities may find it hard to access natural areas without (often expensive) adaptive equipment, or adaptations to accessibility such as flat surfaces that can accommodate a wheelchair or cane. How does nature help those in need of healing, and how can we all help ensure that nature is accessible? And what’s the special connection between veterans and water pollution? Learn about these and more fascinating topics in May’s Conservation Café.

There will be plenty of time for audience questions, too!

VIRTUAL. Tickets $10-$15.

About Joe Mornini: Joe Mornini is the Founder and Executive Director of Team River Runner, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving wounded and disabled veterans through paddlesports across the United States. Raised in Maryland, Joe has spent a lifetime going from adventure to adventure whether climbing Mt. Rainier, kayaking rivers, and creeks, walking across Ireland and Maryland and motorcycling across the country four times.

Joe worked for Montgomery County Public Schools for thirty-five years as an outdoor education leader, special education resource teacher and counselor. Prior to this, he worked for the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County. He is a graduate of Lindenwood University and Goddard College.

For almost forty years, Joe’s stressbuster has been whitewater kayaking on the nearby Potomac River. Always an advocate and organizer, Joe combined his love of paddlesports with a heartfelt desire to help wounded soldiers returning to Walter Reed Military Medical Center from Iraq and Afghanistan. Joe and a kayaking buddy recruited friends and local paddling businesses to support kayak lessons at the hospital’s indoor pool. Team River Runner was officially launched in 2004. The goal has been to provide hope, health, and healing through paddlesports – kayaking, rafting, and stand-up paddle boarding. Working in partnership with Move United, TRR is a non-profit volunteer organization that now provides adaptive, therapeutic and leadership training programs for veterans on a national level. Under Joe’s leadership as Executive Director, Team River Runner has grown to have more than 60 chapters across the country.

Joe leads live fitness workouts, consults, and collaborates with other organizations serving the physically and emotionally challenged. During the pandemic, Joe created “Kayakers for Good” a support system for coping with the many challenges of Covid19 facilitated by visually impaired leaders. You can usually find Joe on a river or riverbank or talking on his phone while hoisting kayaks on top of a van.


(Wednesday) 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm