ECOSS’ Transit to Nature programming is a collaboration with King County Metro and King County Parks that aims to get communities outdoors via accessible public transportation options. BIPOC, immigrant and refugee communities historically have less access to outdoor recreation activities and ECOSS’ program strives to bridge that gap by providing language support and guided outdoor experiences for diverse communities. By utilizing the Trailhead Direct bus service, communities can access local trails without needing a car at an affordable fare rate. ECOSS’ trips guide communities through the process of navigating this bus service and provide them with an ORCA card to use together for the first trip and enough funds on the card for a future trip. The focus of these trips is being in community together in nature, and learning about different ways to get outside and connect with each other and the landscapes around us.

In 2023, ECOSS began using the King County Metro Community Van service as a way to explore places that are not typically accessible via the bus service. Community Van allows families and friends to travel comfortably together to a location of one’s own choice, with convenient pickup locations. This service also allows community members to feel safer, which is some feedback we heard from past trips and focus groups. ECOSS staff are certified as Community Van drivers. Some examples of the trips that the ECOSS has used the van service for are: Snoqualmie Falls, Deception Pass State Park, and a picnic at Seward Park. 

Photo credit: Sanwal Deen

Our work was featured in the International Examiner December 2023 issue, check it out!