The Access Fund is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and REI is honored to have been a supporter since the beginning.
Haven't heard of the Access Fund? They're a national advocacy organization that helps take care of climbing areas and keep them open to the public. During our years of partnership—which continues to this day—REI has provided the Access Fund with more than $300,000 in grant funding. But, even more valuable than REI’s dollars has been the local partnerships that have developed between REI stores and regional chapters of the Access Fund.
Holly from the Access Fund tells the REI Blog about one epic local partnership where the climbing community has mobilized to ensure continued conservation and access to a legendary crag. Holly writes:
"One of the best examples of this partnership in action is Adopt a Crag, our signature stewardship program, at Stoney Point outside of Los Angeles.
"Stoney Point is the local area for climbers and boulderers in Los Angeles. While considered a modest little crag, Stoney Point boasts historic significance. Many of America’s early climbers got their start there, including John Long, Yvon Chouinard, John Bachar, Mike Waugh, Royal Robbins and John Yablonski.
"Stoney Point also suffers a trash and graffiti problem. Fifteen years ago, the Access Fund helped local REI store employees host a stewardship event by providing project manuals and expertise on how to recruit volunteers. REI and the Access Fund have made the event an annual tradition ever since.
"This year, the REI Northridge crew helped draw more than 150 volunteers to the event, to haul out hundreds of pounds of broken glass, aluminum cans, tire rims and other trash from the area.
"Although the Access Fund is a national organization, our nine employees based in Boulder, Colo., rely on local leaders and volunteers around the country to help conserve our climbing areas. 'Without community leaders like REI, annual conservation efforts like the Stoney Point Adopt a Crag would not be possible,' says Brady Robinson, the Access Fund’s executive director.
"With a little help from the Access Fund, community leaders and volunteers can make an enormous difference in caring for the places we play. REI stores often serve as the centerpiece for a local climbing community, and they have an incredible opportunity to rally their patrons around Adopt-a-Crag projects that build community and preserve local climbing resources."
Thanks, Holly, we're happy to help.
“The Access Fund has been a great, long-term partner and resource for REI to connect our customers to stewardship opportunities across the country,” said Todd Smith, REI’s district outreach and events manager for Southern California. “Their Adopt-a-Crag program and online resources make it easy for our teams to reach new audiences, cross-promote and successfully execute a quality volunteer project at their local climbing area.”
Find out how you can organize an Adopt-a-Crag event in your area by visiting www.accessfund.org/adopt or call the Access Fund today at 303-545-6772. To stay informed about volunteer opportunities in your area, sign up for Access Fund’s e-news.