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$100,000 For 16 Outdoors Non-Profits

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What do the Mazamas of Portland, Ore., and a hiking group for girls in Afghanistan have in common? They are among the organizations awarded today for their altruism in the outdoors.


The KEEN Effect grant awarded 16 non-profit organizations a total of $100,000 to boost programs that protect the places we play and inspire outdoors recreation and stewardship.

In its third year, the KEEN Effect grant has now donated $322,000 to dozens of outstanding projects.

These 16 projects, chosen from more than 500 applicants, stood out in 2016.

keen effect

KEEN Effect Grant: 2016

  • Escalando Fronteras – Monterrey, Mexico: Introduce rock climbing to marginalized youth in Mexico in an effort to foster a lifelong, sustainable relationship with the outdoors, and empowering them to be self-aware and courageous.
  • Friends of Nevada Wilderness – Las Vegas, Nevada: Mobilize volunteers from outdoor and business communities to repair and restore desert landscapes in Nevada’s piece of the Grand Canyon: Gold Butte, Nevada.
  • West Virginia Rivers Coalition – Charleston, West Virginia: Connect the people of West Virginia to Birthplace of Rivers, an icon of hope for future generations of West Virginians and key to a sustainable economy.
  • Idaho Conservation League – Boise, Idaho: Preserve Idaho’s clean water, wilderness, and the quality of life through citizen action, public education, professional advocacy, and – specifically with this grant – the stewardship of Central Idaho’s wild places.
  • Friends of Saguaro National Park Tucson, Arizona: Engage more than 6,000 Tucson area youth in experiential learning, recreation, and conservation activities in Saguaro National Park.
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante Partners, Inc. – Kanab, Utah: Preserve the vast landscape of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations by supporting the Grand Staircase Escalante River Watershed Partnership, the largest riparian restoration conservation youth training program in the country.
  • Greening of Detroit – Detroit, Michigan: Enhance the quality of life for Detroiters by repurposing the land to create beautiful and productive green spaces and introduce Detroit children to nature by connecting them to wildlife, flora and fauna in their own neighborhoods.
  • Nature Bridge Washington D.C.: Foster environmental literacy to sustain our planet through hands-on environmental science programs with 500 Washington D.C. 5th grade students in Prince Williams Forest National Park.
  • Outdoor Outreach – California: Support Outdoor Outreach’s Outdoor Voices program – and provide outdoor leadership and advocacy skills to young adults, who will use learned skills to effectively advocate to preserve and protect access to the places where they recreate.
  •  Shining Stars Foundation – Winter Park, Colorado: Offer opportunities for families who have a child/children facing cancer or another life-threatening illness to get outside and participate in a family strengthening outdoor adventure.
  • Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Northern Alberta – Alberta, Canada: Map and analyze the Eastern Slopes of Northern Alberta for recreation appropriate activities, concerns and impacts for public lands and wilderness, and create stewardship plans from the research.
  • Trails Youth Initiatives, Inc. – Newmarket, Ontario, Canada: Provide equipment and opportunities for Toronto Youth participate in outdoor activities and learn Leave No Trace principles.
  • Ascend: Leadership Through Athletics – Norfolk, VA with project work in Afghanistan: Empower young girls in Kabul Province of Afghanistan to be change makers, by taking them on day hikes and showing them the freedom, confidence, and joy found in outdoor recreation.
  • Edible Schoolyard – Berkeley, California: Connect over 1,000 urban students to the natural world by supporting a one-acre garden, which instills in young people an understanding of the interdependence between humans and the nature.
  • Gifford Pinchot Task Force – Portland, Oregon: Bring youth and adult volunteers from metro areas to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to do on-the-ground conservation and citizen science.
  • Mazamas – Portland, Oregon: Organize the voices of responsible recreation, conservation, and the outdoor industry to adequately represent the values of outdoor recreation in Oregon.

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