The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity, started its Public Lands brand to benefit camping and outdoor access. Its new Public Lands Fund partners with 10 environmental nonprofits.
This fall, the first two Dick’s Sporting Goods Public Lands concept stores will open. The two locations will take over space dedicated to Dick’s Field & Stream stores — the brand’s sportsmen’s answer to Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, etc. — in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Columbus, Ohio.
The new stores and their associated nonprofit fund “seek to celebrate and protect public lands for all” by supporting various environmental initiatives.
So far, specifics on Dick’s Sporting Goods Public Lands’ role as a land stewardship initiative are few. But company rhetoric is strong.
“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,” Public Lands president Todd Spaletto said. “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.”
Its simple “together” motto emphasizes social inclusivity in outdoor sports, which its initial promo video reflects.
How Dick’s Sporting Goods ‘Public Lands’ Stores Work
The Public Lands Fund’s first partners exist proximally to its first retail stores. Five of the first 10 environmental nonprofits the brand supports operate locally in Pittsburgh and Columbus. The exact funding relationship between Public Lands stores and its itinerant fund is unknown. Dick’s Sporting Goods only specifies that the stores will contribute 1% of gross sales to the fund as part of its 1% for the Planet membership.
The Pittsburgh location is already open, with a grand opening slated for Sep. 24-26. The store in Cranberry Township, Pa., will feature an REI-like spread of camping, hiking, biking, climbing, and cycling gear. It will also graft in fishing and paddling components.
At the time of writing, the vast majority of the Public Lands website is still under construction. For now, the homepage lines out product categories. It also shows a membership service that provides access to expert advice and opportunities for conservation involvement.