SEATTLE - REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a national outdoor gear and clothing retailer, today announced the distribution of $600,000 to 14 nonprofit partners across the country through its Stewardship Leader Grants. REI selected one leading organization in each of its largest markets to provide larger grants for their volunteer programming, as well as local REI outreach team support.
"These organizations focus on providing meaningful and fun ways to care for local outdoor trails, parks and waterways," said Kevin Hagen, REI's corporate social responsibility director. "By collaborating with these nonprofits on a long-term basis, we strive to strengthen these programs and mobilize our co-op members and communities to volunteer for the places we love."
The recipient organizations and respective grant amounts include:
- Alice Ferguson Foundation (Washington, D.C.): $40,000
- American River Parkway Foundation (Sacramento): $30,000
- Bay Area Ridge Trail Council (Bay Area North): $50,000
- EarthCorps (Puget Sound): $55,000
- Forest Park Conservancy (Portland): $35,000
- Friends of the Parks (Chicago): $35,000
- Georgia Conservancy (Atlanta): $45,000
- Heal the Bay (Los Angeles): $45,000
- Mississippi River Fund (Minneapolis): $35,000
- New York Restoration Project (New York): $40,000
- San Diego Canyonlands (San Diego): $35,000
- Save the Bay (Bay Area South): $50,000
- Trustees of Reservations (Boston): $50,000
- Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (Denver): $55,000
"The REI Stewardship Leader Grant will allow us to create the foundation for a well-designed, professional statewide volunteer program so that we can be even more effective at conserving the natural lands and ecosystems on which we all depend," said Lisa Caissie, Trustees of Reservations’ volunteer services director. "This grant enables us to match our volunteers with the high-quality, effective opportunities they want and we need to help us reach our ambitious strategic goals, together."
"Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado believes that taking care of the great outdoors is something that every person can and should be part of, and our partnership with REI helps us extend that opportunity to people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities," said Ann Baker Easley, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado"s executive director. "This grant will allow us to dramatically expand opportunities for Coloradoans, especially youth and families, to learn about the importance of caring for the outdoors and get involved as volunteers."
REI and its local stores have a long-standing partnership with each of these organizations and the recent grants add greater momentum to the volunteer programs supported through $4.2 million in grants provided last year. Additional information about REI's corporate giving philosophy and social responsibility efforts is available at www.rei.com/stewardship.
More information about REI's Stewardship Leader Grants, including a profile of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, is available on the REI Blog.
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.