Spotlight on Wilderness Therapy: just “Get Outside”: The o2 Project 

Just  “Get Outside” is the annual rallying call of the o2 Project on June 10th

“Our goal is to get people, worldwide, outside and in solidarity for mental health awareness.”   

The o2 Project raises money for the Benjamin Ware Legacy Fund that supports wilderness therapy and mental health initiatives. Ben Ware was an outdoor enthusiast extraordinaire, and o2 is named for the wilderness program he was creating.  

“As inspirational as Ben was, he also battled anxiety, depression and alcohol addiction,” says the o2 website of Ben’s story. “Ben knew better than most how inner turmoil can devastate an otherwise extraordinary life.”  

Pine River is extremely grateful to be a recipient of this fundraising, for three years running. This year’s grant is earmarked for Pine River’s Outdoor Leadership Experience (OLE) and is hugely welcome support!  

Wilderness therapy is a core tenant of Pine River’s program for youth struggling with addiction and other mental health issues. All of our students start the first phase of our program “in the woods,” and throughout their time at Pine River, they participate in re-grounding and mentorship for new students, while also spending time in canoes, hiking and daily outdoors in nature throughout the program.  

Our OLE has students in the wilderness 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. At this time of year, they have transitioned into Algonquin Park after winter months nearby on crownland.   

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To learn more about the o2 Project go to