Aimee Copeland lives on her own terms, and that means mostly outdoors, despite the amputation of both of her hands, her right foot and entire left leg after she was infected by a flesh-eating bacteria while zip-lining at age 24.
Before the infection, Copeland enjoyed rock climbing, backpacking and trail running. Reconnecting with the outdoors has been an essential component of her physical, mental and spiritual recovery. Through that journey and from her new vantage point in a wheelchair, her lifelong passion for outdoor adventure gained a sharper focus. Copeland came to realize that people with limited mobility also have limited access to parks, trails and just about every form of outdoor recreation.
Copeland is turning misfortune into action. She is lending her perspective to the Chattahoochee RiverLands master planning to ensure the imagined 100-mile linear park along the river between Buford Dam and Chattahoochee Bend State Park is a regional destination for everyone–including people with differing abilities. She has also created the Aimee Copeland Foundation to develop an inclusive wellness park and holistic therapy center in metro Atlanta.
We are honored and excited to welcome Copeland to the 2019 Georgia Trail Summit as a Keynote Speaker. Her message will challenge us all to think about who we are serving–and who we might be excluding–as we plan for the future of trails in our state.