Trails, parks and waterways across the country are even more enjoyable and accessible thanks to REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) and its more than 260 nonprofit partners. The national outdoor gear and clothing retailer granted more than $3.9 million this year to national and local organizations offering volunteer programs in the outdoors.
REI partners with nonprofits in each of its communities that work to restore natural spaces. The financial support will help fund an estimated:
- 397,000 volunteers caring for natural places
- 54,250 miles of trail maintained and 99,500 acres of land restored
- 2,824,000 volunteer hours dedicated to working on outdoor spaces
“REI stores uniquely partner with these devoted nonprofits to increase the number of people taking care of some of our nation’s favorite places,” said Kevin Hagen, REI’s corporate social responsibility director. “By working together, we’ll help ensure outdoor spaces are available for us to enjoy now and for future generations to explore.”
Additional partnership activities include donating gear, and cohosting or promoting events and service projects for REI members and customers. A full list of REI’s grant recipients is available on the REI Blog.
“As the urban sister to the Appalachian Trail, we are developing a route that helps 45 million Americans walk and bike safely in their communities and beyond,” said Dennis Markatos-Soriano, executive director of East Coast Greenway Alliance, a decade-long partner of REI. “With the funding from REI, we have a tremendous opportunity to introduce hundreds of thousands of new people to the Greenway through mobile technologies.”
REI’s annual grants budget represents approximately three percent of the previous year's operating profits. Since 1976, REI has provided more than $40 million to nonprofit organizations. Additional information about REI’s corporate giving philosophy is available at www.rei.com/stewardship.
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.