L.L.Bean announced plans to continue investing in a range of organizations and initiatives focused on supporting local communities and increasing outdoor access for all.
With nearly $30 million committed over the past decade, this year’s contributions total $6 million and will be directed to initiate programming for several new organizations.
New partners, projects and programming include:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America: Through a new two-year partnership, L.L.Bean will work with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to expand its Sports and Recreation Programming at all Clubs nationwide. This will be Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s first program with an outdoor company. The formalized curriculum will integrate “Social Recreation” through hands-on active learning, supporting emotional wellness activities and reducing the barriers for kids to have experiences in the outdoors. L.L.Bean will also offer Outdoor Discovery Programs (ODP) at select Clubs, with guides on-site to introduce kids to a range of outdoor activities.
- The Outdoor Foundation – Thrive Outside Community: L.L.Bean will support the Outdoor Foundation’s Thrive Outside Community initiative beginning in 2021. Thrive Outside is focused on reversing the trend of decreased outdoor youth participation by working at the grassroots level. The Outdoor Foundation helps resource regions in the U.S. make outdoor recreation accessible to all through multi-year, capacity-building grants to diverse communities. The intent of Thrive Outside is to build and strengthen networks that provide kids and families with repeat positive experiences in the outdoors.
- The Ecology School: Funding camps for kids and families, L.L.Bean’s partnership with The Ecology School will help learners of all ages experience the world around them through an outdoor-first education approach. The Ecology School, located at River Bend Farm in Saco, ME, focuses on transforming how people think about science, food and sustainability through hands-on learning for all ages.
- OUT There Adventures: L.L.Bean will partner with OUT There Adventures, an adventure education organization fostering positive identity development, individual empowerment and improved quality of life for queer young people through professionally facilitated experiential education activities.
- The Trust for Public Land: As part of a multi-year partnership with The Trust for Public Land that started in 2018, L.L.Bean will invest in three community projects focused on creating and improving green space in Chattanooga, TN, Philadelphia, PA and Chiloquin, OR through the L.L.Bean Community Award. To date, L.L.Bean and TPL have initiated nine park projects with the goal to ensure all people have access to close-to-home nature in cities and communities where they live to improve health, equity and justice.
- Cambodian Community Association of Maine: L.L.Bean will partner for the first time with the Cambodian Community Association of Maine (CCAM), a nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to improve the quality of life and the social and economic wellbeing of Cambodian people in Maine through cultural exchange, community building and civic engagement.
- EqualityMaine Foundation: The EqualityMaine Foundation joins L.L.Bean’s list of new partners in 2021. Founded in 1984, EqualityMaine Foundation is the state’s oldest LGBTQ+ organization in Maine. Signature community education and outreach programs include its New Leaders Project Summer Camp for kids and SAGE Maine programs for older adults.
- Unified Asian Communities: A new organization founded in 2020, Maine-based Unified Asian Communities emerged out of a pursuit to inspire and support the Maine community, offering programs and resources to advance equality for New England’s Asian populations. The organization will be a new L.L.Bean community partner this year.
In addition to new partnerships and programs, L.L.Bean will continue to invest in ongoing partnerships through its Outdoor Access Fund and Community Fund, including the National Park Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, National Urban League, Camber Outdoors, Nature Conservancy, Teens to Trails, WinterKids, Student Conservation Association, American Hiking Society, United Way, American Red Cross, Leave No Trace, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Good Shepherd Food Bank.
“If the past year has taught us anything, it is that the outdoors can have a remarkable impact on our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing,” said Shawn Gorman, Executive Chairman of L.L.Bean. “We’re proud to partner with these organizations to ensure that the restorative benefits of being outdoors is more accessible and as inclusive as possible.”
Photo courtesy L.L. Bean