On June 6, 2021, our Founder, Dana Lawson, completed the North Olympic Discovery Marathon (NODM) to raise funds and awareness for survivors of domestic abuse. As we know – that was just the beginning!

Dana and her team are back at it again this year – participating in the NODM Eagle Challenge – a back to back 10K/Half marathon race on June 4 and 5, 2022. This year, the team’s raising awareness and funds for Nature’s Academy new program, Unbounded Horizons.

As the world shifts to mitigate the effects of COVID, the prevalence of mental health issues has truly come to light. Trauma in this country is at an all-time high and is ubiquitous, as demonstrated by the statistics below.

  • 60% of US adults report abuse or difficult family circumstances during childhood and nearly half of all children and adolescents were assaulted at least once in the past year.1
  • Additionally, trauma and mental health, wellbeing, and longevity are all negatively correlated– more trauma = poor mental health and a shorter lifespan.2
  • Furthermore, a survey of trauma survivors demonstrated that over 95% of them sought trauma-informed education, tools for self-care, connection with others, and ongoing support.3

Recognizing the need for a trauma-healing program, Nature’s Academy heeded the call and launched its newest and most innovative program in 2022.

Unbounded Horizons is a 4-day Healing Retreat for women survivors of trauma that will take place this August 21 – 24 at NatureBridge, on the stunning and peaceful shores of Lake Crescent, in Olympic National Park. The retreat offers those who have experienced emotional trauma an opportunity to reconnect:  with oneself, with one another, and with the cathartic healing power of nature.

The retreat’s facilitators are trauma-informed educators, advocates, coaches, and movement practitioners, as well as trauma survivors themselves. They are dedicated to helping participants reflect on their experiences without judgement, gain awareness about their mental and physical responses to triggering events, learn new skills to advance toward the life they desire, and—perhaps most importantly—discover how a deepened spiritual connection with the natural world and its rhythms can be a catalyst to rediscovering their own unbounded horizons.

Nature’s Academy is subsidizing the cost of the retreat as a means of increasing affordability and ensuring accessibility.  We continue to seek funding though active grant applications, corporate sponsors, and this $10,000 fundraising campaign! We hope to reach our goal by July 4th signifying freedom from the pain of trauma.

Please consider making a tax deductible donation today. Your gift will directly impact the life of a trauma survivor. Thank you for your support. and

3Meeting Survivors’ Needs: A Multi-state Study of Domestic Violence Shelter Experience

Dana Lawson is a person living with cancer, above-the-knee amputee, and survivor of domestic abuse. She is the founder of educational nonprofit Nature’s Academy, the parent program of Unbounded Horizons. 

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Unbounded Horizons relies on the support of its donors and community partners to make its healing retreats possible. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to Nature’s Academy, the nonprofit organization presenting Unbounded Horizons, or in becoming a community partner, please click the button to learn more.