The North Face more than doubled funding commitment to the Explore Fund (www.explorefund.org) to $250,000, citing the success of the Outdoor Nation Youth Summit and Festival over the weekend in New York City. The grant-giving program supports nonprofit, community organizations that break down the barriers to getting youth outdoors.
More than $300,000 in funds were announced on-site at the first-ever Outdoor Nation Youth Summit, a gathering of more than 500 young people from the 50 states and parts of Canada to champion the outdoors. The North Face increased its initial investment of $100,000 to $250,000, and longtime partner The Conservation Fund offered a $50,000 matching grant to The Outdoor Foundation’s own contribution, all of which will be used to support concepts generated by Outdoor Nation youth delegates. In addition, Camelbak announced a $5,000 contribution to the fund.
“We were extremely impressed by the delegates and all of their hard work throughout the weekend,” said Steve Rendle, President of The North Face and VF Outdoor Americas. “We secured the additional funds and made the announcement on-site. We wanted each of the delegates to know first-hand, and return to their communities knowing that we are behind them 100 percent.”
Explore Fund (www.explorefund.org) applications are now being accepted online. They will be vetted by a youth advisory council and issues experts in order to determine the most promising projects. The grants, up to $2,500 each, will be awarded in the fall.
“This past weekend at Outdoor Nation we saw not only the first and largest, but most diverse gathering of young leaders in history,” said Chris Fanning, Executive Director, The Outdoor Foundation. “We had young people from all of the United States and Canada investing their weekend to learn how to champion the outdoors-this is a huge testament to our youth’s commitment to the outdoors and the outdoor revolution.”
The Outdoor Nation Youth Summit and Festival combined outdoor activities and outdoor advocacy to raise awareness about the important role the outdoors and recreational activities play in healthy active lifestyles. The 500 youth delegates were selected based on outdoor interest and a commitment to lead local, regional and national efforts that will reconnect youth and the outdoors.
“Reconnecting young people with the outdoors is critical for the health of our population, our economy and our environment,” said Larry Selzer, President and CEO, The Conservation Fund. “It’s time for an Outdoor Revolution and we need young people to step up and lead. Thanks to the Outdoor Foundation, The North Face and our many other partners, the delegates at the Outdoor Nation Youth Summit will be able to do just that.”