The Explore Fund Empowers Future Explorers by Removing Barriers to Getting Outside
For more than 50 years, we’ve been encouraging exploration – from our nation’s monuments to the local parks and trails close to our backyards. We know exploration can be a force for good, which is why we created the Explore Fund in 2010 to build a movement of outdoor exploration and empower future explorers. Since then, we have donated $5 million to enable exploration across the United States and granted $3 million to more than 500 nonprofits, helping people of all backgrounds and all experiences to explore the outdoors.
Today, we’re excited to announce 40 new winners of the 2018 Explore Fund Grants. This year’s winners represent a diverse range of organizations helping to remove barriers to get people outside. Each nonprofit will receive up to $25,000 to support exploration by providing outdoor experiences for underserved youth, people with disabilities, and underrepresented communities. We’re excited to continue working with the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. Many of our grantees are working on our public lands and in our national parks because they provide such compelling environments.
"The North Face’s support enables people from all walks of life and of all abilities to discover the power of outdoor experiences,” said Katherine Chesson, Vice President of Grants and Programs at the National Park Foundation. “The Explore Fund Grants not only remove barriers, they also help nurture life-long connections to our treasured public lands.”
This year’s recipients also represent an expanded focus on protecting the environment, especially on our public lands, and addressing climate change. As we look to the remainder of the year, we are increasing our Explore Fund Grants to include a new $250,000 grant cycle focused on women in the outdoors.
“At The North Face, we envision a world where curiosity and adventure know no limits -- and we believe that when we share thoughts, ideas and cultures, it brings us closer together,” said Tom Herbst, Vice President of Global Marketing at The North Face. “Our Explore Fund platform helps us bring exploration to life out in the world, in real, measurable and meaningful ways. We know that exploration has a positive impact on people and society and so we’re working to remove barriers to it across the globe.”
A selection of our 2018 winners include:
Protecting Our Environment
Alliance for Climate Education educates young people on the science of climate change and empowers them to take action. By empowering youth to take action within a frame of justice and optimism, they are growing and strengthening the climate movement, and shifting the national discourse on climate in ways that are proven to affect public opinion and policy.
EarthTeam is a Bay Area-based nonprofit that empowers youth to become lifelong environmental stewards. Students implement action projects that provide active learning about environmental science including sustainability, environmental restoration, climate change, waste reduction and watersheds. EarthTeam also provides leadership opportunities to promote career pathways in environmental science and technology.
Rock Creek Conservancy is the only organization dedicated solely to protecting Rock Creek, a 33-mile creek that runs through the Washington metropolitan area. The Rock Creek Conservation Corps is a summer youth conservation program that helps protect and revitalize Rock Creek and its parklands while providing transformative experiences to youth and empowering non-traditional leaders in conservation to develop and sustain a culture of environmental stewardship for future generations. Funding will support the expansion of the Rock Creek Conservation Corps to a year-round engagement.
Enabling New Explorers
Out There Adventures is dedicated to empowering LGBTQ youth by connecting them to the natural world through organized sea kayaking and backpacking trips. In this way, the organization helps young people explore their identity and cultivate self-efficacy, resilience, and empowerment while learning about the outdoors and how to protect the environment.
Para la Naturaleza brings together communities who want a sustainable future for Puerto Rico. Through habitat restoration and citizen science programs, PLN is helping to build teamwork and leadership through nature in order to reach their goal of planting 750,000 native and endemic trees over the next seven years. PLN is teaming up with The North Face on a project with underserved urban youth with few opportunities to venture beyond their concrete laden neighborhoods to engage with the island’s great biodiversity; allowing them to learn and engage in the restoration of the island environment.
Dine Climb offers climbing training on the Navajo Nation in Arizona with the intention of empowering community organizers and young adults working in frontline communities. The training integrates citizen science workshops with climbing lessons, helping to address social and environmental injustices faced by tribal populations while collecting data to understand the impacts of climate change, development and land management.
Additional 2018 winners include Five Mile Creek Greenway, Rios to Rivers, and Outdoor Outreach. Congratulations to these and the rest of the amazing organizations who are part of The North Face Explore Fund. Furthering our commitment to advancing women in the outdoors, The North Face will announce the grant recipients of programs focused on women and exploration this fall.
*We selected all Explore Fund grantees based on the projected impact, clarity of the proposal and alignment to the spirit of adventure and exploration. The Explore Fund reviews grants by individual merits and as part of a balanced portfolio that includes factors such as geography, type of program, target audiences, and more. For more information on The Explore Fund, visit www.thenorthface.com/about-us/outdoor-exploration/explore-fund.