Store employees at Recreational Equipment, Inc. personally
handed checks and gear in June and July to 160 conservation groups and
outdoor recreation clubs nationwide. The grants, which range from $2,000 to
$10,000, go to organizations nominated by employees. The total awarded is
“These grants combined with store community service projects and employee
conducted educational outreach are having a broad impact to conserve our
natural landscapes and support stewardship and responsible outdoor
recreation,” said REI Corporate Giving Manager David Jayo. “It is an
important part of REI's culture to give back and mobilize communities in
environmental stewardship activities.”
The following are a few examples of the 160 grassroots grants awarded:
The Texas Bicycle Coalition Education Fund seeks to advance bicycle
access and safety in Texas. The REI grant will pay for marketing materials
for the “Share the Road Y'all” public awareness campaign.
Tualatin River Discovery project, in Tualatin, Ore., will expand
youth interest and participation in watershed stewardship activities by
providing opportunities to experience the river first hand through canoeing.
The REI grant will pay for canoes, accessory gear and instructional
The Utah Federation for Youth Wonderful Outdoor World program in
Salt Lake City introduces children to nature through an overnight campout in
their neighborhood park. The REI grant will provide camping gear.
GOAL, based in Atlanta, Georgia, works with seventh grade girls to
build trust, self-reliance and resiliency as they pitch tents, cook meals
and participate in activities that use the outdoors as a metaphor for life.
REI funds will support the program with van rentals, food and staffing
The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is a grassroots environmental
organization dedicated to the protection, restoration and continued
enjoyment of New Mexico's wilderness areas. The REI grant will fund the
design and printing of a guide outlining hikes and volunteer projects in
REI store-based grants support youth oriented programs, conservation and
access to outdoor recreation. The grants add to store-hosted community
service projects and PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids)
presentations for a broad effort to support environmental stewardship and
responsible outdoor recreation on a grassroots level.
“Through service, outreach and grants, REI stores are building on long-term
relationships with many great local organizations,” Jayo said. “If you want
to find out more and get involved, one way to do it is to drop into an REI
store and ask how to connect with these amazing outdoor groups and clubs.”
Each REI store partners with local community groups to host community
service projects, such as trail repairs, removal of invasive species and
coastal cleanups. As of July, REI stores have hosted 97 service projects and
involved 5,506 volunteers in environmental stewardship activities, amounting
to more than 14,600 hours of labor.
In addition employees participate in REI's youth outreach program, PEAK,
conducting presentations for local schools, scouting groups and outdoor
clubs. So far this year, employees have reached 20,812 kids teaching Leave
No Trace principals of environmental ethics.
Store-based grants are part of REI's $2.5 million corporate giving program.
Other REI corporate giving includes outreach and advocacy grants to national
and large regional organizations such as Appalachian Trail Conservancy,
Continental Divide Trail Alliance and the Lower Columbia River Estuary.