$54,000 in grants awarded to frontline outdoor recreation initiatives across the country
WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Together Outdoors (TO), a coalition of more than 100 outdoor recreation organizations committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the outdoors, announced the nine recipients of its pilot round of grants today. 84 proposals requesting a total of $775,000 were submitted for this inaugural grant cycle from a broad range of inclusion-focused initiatives designed to build a more accessible and welcoming outdoor ecosystem. The grant process had the added benefit of highlighting how large the need is to foster more accessible and welcoming outdoor spaces. Funding for the grant program is made possible by contributions from partner organizations including THOR Industries, Airstream, and Winnebago Industries Foundation. Airstream generously added another $25,000, more than doubling grant funding to $54,000 during this cycle.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to provide this support for Together Outdoors. The involvement of Airstream and THOR Industries goes back to the very conception of TO, and in addition to the considerable seed money that THOR provided to establish the program, this additional funding from Airstream will allow TO to make more grants to drive awareness and inclusion in ways that benefit all. And we hope that our support will spur others to do the same in our efforts to promote more diversity in outdoor spaces,” said Bob Wheeler, President and CEO of Airstream.
This round’s grantees, all working in unique ways to encourage outdoor participation, include:
- Arizona: Atabey Outdoors is a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led nonprofit organization in Phoenix, Arizona that provides organized outdoor adventures to BIPOC youth in the area. The Together Outdoors grant will specifically help with capacity building, in addition to the launch of a Junior Outdoor Mentor Program, consisting of three cohorts of 13–17-year-old BIPOC youth who will be trained to become future mentors and leaders to program members as they begin their outdoor journeys.
- Georgia: Center for Recreation Education Arts Technology and Enterprise (CREATE, Inc.) is a nonprofit that provides programs to underserved populations within the Middle-Georgia region. Their new program CREATE Outdoor Adventures includes development of a gear library, a demonstration campsite, and various outdoors skills/leadership workshops.
- Kentucky: Pathfinders of Perry County is a non-profit citizen action group that promotes community well-being, engagement, outdoor recreation, and education in Perry County, Kentucky. The grant from Together Outdoors will support development and implementation of an experiential/environmental education pilot program in partnership with two schools in the community designed to take 20-25 youths from underrepresented and/or impoverished backgrounds who lack access to recreation opportunities on trips to local trails, state parks and natural areas.
- New Jersey: Bergen County LGBTQ+ Alliance is a nonprofit with a mission to advocate for equality and resources for the LGBTQ+ community in Bergen County, NJ. Funding from Together Outdoors will support the creation of an outdoor recreation focused Day Camp launching in summer 2023 for local LGBTQ+ identifying teens.
- New Mexico: Fly Fish NM is a nonprofit based in Albuquerque, New Mexico created to provide Fly Fishing opportunities for youth who would otherwise not be able to participate in outdoor fishing experiences due to economic inability, or limited access to the outdoors. Funding from Together Outdoors will support the purchase of fly rod kits for an additional 40-50 future participants and other program costs.
- New York: Hoods to Woods Foundation works to provide free year-round indoor and outdoor snowboarding programs to youth in underserved communities in the New York City tri-state area to tackle the lack of diversity in winter sports.
- New York: N8V Trails & Tales is a start-up initiative being developed by Ionah M. Elaine Scully (Cree Métis, Michel First Nation), a doctoral student in Cultural Foundations of Education at Syracuse University focused on Indigenous land pedagogy and outdoor recreation. The grant from Together Outdoors will support capacity building, the creation of resources, and development of a gear library.
- North Carolina: ParaCliffHangers is a nonprofit that empowers people with all types of disabilities through adaptive rock climbing. Funding from Together Outdoors will support the creation of a new chapter in central North Carolina called “NC Triangle PCH,” that will build and foster a local indoor adaptive climbing program, including a dedicated scholarship fund to support entrance and other climbing gym related fees to ensure programming is financially, as well as physically accessible.
- Virginia: Humble Hikes, a program of the Humble Hustle Company is a Roanoke, Virginia based initiative that aims to expose black youth to the outdoors. The grant from Together Outdoors will specifically support capacity building and providing outdoor recreation trips (hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, camping, fishing, and more) for 20-25 youth per trip, along with collaboration in the Roanoke City Schools for after school programming.
Together Outdoors looks forward to cultivating, expanding, and sharing the lessons learned about equity and inclusion in philanthropy from this grant process with our coalition and beyond. We already have commitments for Round Two of this grant to roll out next year. TO hopes you follow this program and our grantee’s progress as we provide updates on their efforts moving forward. For more information on how TO is working to make the outdoors welcoming for everyone subscribe to our True North newsletter or visit Togetheroutdoors.com.
View release on TogetherOutdoors.com.
Together Outdoors is an initiative administered under the auspices of ORR that nurtures an environment where all people have access to welcoming outdoor recreation experiences. We pursue this work through engagement, partnership and education across all segments of the outdoor community.
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is the nation’s leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations representing the $689 billion outdoor recreation economy. ORR focuses on the growth of outdoor recreation by building a better environment for the sustainable growth of outdoor recreation businesses and driving a broader understanding of the value of the outdoor recreation economy. Our membership includes national outdoor trade association members, business entities, nonprofit organizations, and universities — serving more than 110,000 businesses and representing America’s boating, fishing, RVing, biking, hiking, camping, hunting, ATVing, diving, horseback, and skiing communities among many more.
SOURCE Together Outdoors; Outdoor Recreation Roundtable