The North Face, has awarded an Explore Fund grant to Splore for SPLORE's Evolve Project.

The Explore Fund’s mission is to inspire and enable the next generation of explorers by funding nonprofit organizations that are working to re-connect children with nature. By encouraging an active healthy lifestyle and protection of our natural landscapes, a stronger connection of youth to the outdoors can be nurtured.


The Evolve Project provides at risk and minority teens with an outdoor career-oriented leadership course. SPLORE was selected from over five hundred applications submitted for the first of two grant cycles in 2012. Since The Explore Fund was initiated in 2010, The North Face has provided $625,000 in grants to non-profits working to connect youth to the outdoors.

“The Evolve Project is innovative and unique in that it takes connecting youth to the outdoors to the next level: breaking down barriers to employment in the outdoor industry,” said Janine Donald, SPLORE's associate director. “We are thrilled to be recognized as part of the national movement to inspire youth to explore the outdoors.”

The Evolve Project was established in 2011 to provide at risk and minority teens with an outdoor career-oriented leadership course. In addition to learning outdoor recreation skills, teens engage in job-coaching, leadership training, environmental stewardship, and leave-no-trace ethics. This Project utilizes the resources and expertise of 10 community partners representing the public, for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

“The Outdoor Foundation has identified that a barrier to getting youth outdoors is lack of opportunity for kids to learn about and actually get to outdoors. We believe this has to happen at a grass roots, community level,” said Ann Krcik, director of Outdoor Participation at The North Face. “During the granting process, we make a conscious effort to reflect on what we refer to as the virtuous cycle. We first need to provide the opportunity for kids to get outside and play. If we can provide them with an initial positive experience outdoors, they will grow up inspired to care about their natural world.”

To learn more about SPLORE and the Evolve Project, visit For more information about The North Face Explore Fund, please visit

About Splore
SPLORE, which stands for Special Populations Learning Outdoor Recreation and Education, has been providing outdoor adventures to people of varying abilities since 1977. Trips include white water river rafting in Moab, canoeing along the Jordan River, rock climbing and nature interpretation up Big Cottonwood Canyon, and nordic skiing in the Wasatch. Splore’s goal is to create more inclusive communities by introducing people to the healing powers of outdoor recreation while fostering a connection with Utah’s wildlands.

About PlanetExplore
PlanetExplore is an online community founded by The North Face, powered by partner organizations that share a passion for the outdoors, and designed to help individuals and families learn about and participate in outdoor activities and events in their area. PlanetExplore is a portal to the outdoors designed to inspire and enable people of all ages to become regularly active outside, and to enjoy the benefits gained through a connection to nature.