EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Wesselman Woods is hoping to make its park easily accessible to people going through monetary struggles.

Wesselman Woods says it has started a new program called the Eco-Access Initiative (EAI). The purpose of this initiative is to assure equal access to the largest urban old-growth forest in the United States: Wesselman Woods (WW).

WW Executive Director Zach Garcia says: “In honor of WW’s 50th anniversary and beyond, we want to be radically accessible for those going through economic hardships. There’s a new wind at Wesselman Woods. We feel that it is our duty as an establishment dedicated to promoting conservation, education, and connecting people and nature to become more accessible for our own community members and neighboring communities. We want equitable access to this ancient forest – this living artifact.”

Deonte Meriwether, WW Director of Operations, adds: “We created EAI everbearing in mind that each of us can experience economic ebbs and flows from time to time. These sponsorships are used to assist in covering the costs incurred in the pursuit of environmental education and connecting people and nature. Our donors make a real difference by sponsoring a child or family to create lasting memories and inspire greater environmental stewardship.”

WW says it has already partnered with Alexandrian Public Library, Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Newburgh Chandler Public Library, Poseyville Carnegie Library, Owensville Carnegie Library and many others. For each of these organizations, families can check out passes to explore the trails and Welborn Baptist Foundation Nature Playscape for free, says WW.

If anyone has an organization that is interested in becoming a part of WW’s list of partners, please contact Deonte Meriwether at deonte@wesselmanwoods.org or via phone at 812-479-0771.