Public Lands, the outdoors-themed retailer from Dick’s Sporting Goods, announced the creation of The Public Lands Fund, designed to support local and national initiatives that protect new land, improve existing land, break down the barriers of access to the outdoors, and improve IE in the outdoors.

As part of its commitment and as a member of 1% for the Planet, the company will donate one percent of its gross sales to The Public Lands Fund—an initiative of The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation 501(c)(3) charity— and partner with an initial ten environmental nonprofit organizations.

The first Public Lands store, located in the Pittsburgh, PA area, will open on September 24. A second store will open in Columbus, OH in October.

The first local nonprofit partners supported by The Public Lands Fund in Pittsburgh are:

  • Allegheny Land Trust, which will receive support for initial safety and infrastructure improvements at Churchill Valley Greenway, a 151-acre green space East of Pittsburgh; and
  • Venture Outdoors, for its Youth Outdoor Learning Lab, connecting kids to outdoor experiences with physical and mental wellness, STEM and environmental education, and outdoor industry exploration.

The first local nonprofit partners supported by The Public Lands Fund in the Columbus, OH area are:

  • The Arc of Appalachia – The Public Lands Fund is supporting its effort to preserve approximately 618,442 acres of habitat within the lower Scioto River watershed to protect an ancient indigenous earthwork site at Tremper Mound, the largest unprotected Hopewell mound in the state of Ohio, built nearly 1,800 years ago.
  • Project Learning Tree – The Public Lands Fund is supporting its efforts to connect urban youth to outdoor learning opportunities with resources for transportation, program costs and materials.
  • Friends of Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks – The Public Lands Fund is supporting its efforts to bring outdoor experiences to participants with My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative to address opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color.

The first national nonprofit organizations supported by The Public Lands Fund are:

  • Alaska Wilderness League – The Public Lands Fund will lend support to advocate for the permanent protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and working with the Gwich’in people to protect those cultural, ecological and recreational significant lands from extraction and development.
  • The Conservation Alliance –  The Public Lands Fund is a Pinnacle Member.
  • The Conservation Lands Foundation – The Public Lands Fund supports the Foundation with resources and funding to grassroots conservation organizations protecting, restoring and increasing National Conservation Lands across the U.S.
  • Student Conservation Association – The Public Lands Fund is supporting its Fall 2021 BIPOC youth affinity crew in Pittsburgh, PA where student participants will work with local land management agencies to restore and improve public green space.
  • The Trust for Public Land – The Public Lands Fund is a partner with The Trust for Public Land’s Schoolyard Initiative, helping to solve park inequity with access to a close-to-home park for 20 million Americans.

“At Public Lands, our mission is to celebrate and protect public lands for all,” said Todd Spaletto, president, Public Lands. “We want to do this in a meaningful way and partner with organizations that have already accomplished – and continue to do – incredible work to ensure our public lands and outdoor spaces are clean, preserved and open for all. Moving forward, we’re going to be working with our nonprofit partners to support their missions and collaborate on programs that get more people into the outdoors and take care of our local, state and national parks and recreation spaces. In fact, we’re proud that our Pittsburgh area store team has already logged 224 hours in volunteering with local nonprofit partners doing trail restoration, clean up and breaking new trails in local Pittsburgh parks and lands.”

Photo courtesy Public Lands/Dick’s Sporting Goods