In celebration of 50 years of National Scenic Trails, REI Co-op is investing a total of $643,000 in 17 nonprofit organizations dedicated to stewarding and maintaining the country’s 11 National Scenic Trails. REI has supported these efforts for nearly two decades, and since 2002, has invested nearly $3 million in National Scenic Trails.
“Many of these trails offer direct access to outdoor recreation in some of the most scenic parts of the country,” said Taldi Walter, REI community and government affairs manager. “By supporting projects to improve access and invest in their future, we’re working to make sure these trails can be enjoyed by generations to come.”
National Scenic Trails are extended paths of more than 100 miles in length that provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and pass through nationally significant scenic, historic, natural or cultural areas. This year’s investment will support trail maintenance and restoration projects across the country to support 11 National Scenic Trails, including:
- Appalachian Trail: REI is investing $48,100 in four nonprofits dedicated to stewarding the Appalachian Trail: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, Appalachian Mountain Connecticut Chapter and Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. Projects include adding signage and information kiosks and providing vital repairs to high-use sections of the trail. The Appalachian Trail stretches 2,190 miles and touches 14 states. REI has invested over $780,000 in the Appalachian Trail to date.
- Continental Divide Trail: REI is investing $25,000 in the Continental Divide Trail Coalition to add signage along the trail and support trail maintenance efforts. The Continental Divide Trail runs 3,100 miles from New Mexico to Montana. REI has invested over $340,000 in the Continental Divide Trail to date.
- Pacific Crest Trail: REI is investing $25,000 in the Pacific Crest Trail Association to repair sections of the trail damaged by wildfires in California. The Pacific Crest Trail extends 2,650 miles through California, Oregon and Washington. REI has invested over $284,000 in the Pacific Crest Trail to date.
Beyond grants, REI’s investment in nonprofits includes the contribution of volunteer hours and hands-on stewardship. At REI stores across the country, the co-op supports and promotes nonprofits’ efforts to engage volunteers in caring for outdoor spaces, and REI employees often join in their causes.