GirlVentures Awarded a Paddle Nation Grant

Paddle Nation funding 11 projects in 11 states that will engage more than 2,000 people for nearly 32,000 hours spent outside.

San Francisco, July 14, 2017—This year 2,076 people will have the opportunity to getoutside, many for the first time, and explore America’s waterways. The influx of participation is a result of the Paddle Nation Grant Program, an initiative connecting young people to their rivers, streams, lakes and oceans, funded by Outdoor Retailer, National Park Service and many paddle-sport manufacturers, retailers and stakeholders.

GirlVentures received $2,500 to support its work to engage diverse Bay Area girls through outdoor adventure and kayaking expeditions. Their courses provide the format and structure for girls to develop physical, emotional, and social tools that help them navigate not only the course, but also challenges in their families and communities when they return.

GirlVentures’ participants are intentionally diverse in experience, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. With Paddle Nation’s grant, 30 girls will have access to GirlVentures’ courses and each will spend approximately 100 hours experiencing the outdoors. Paddle Nation funding is providing necessary gear, tools and storage to support GirlVentures’ kayak fleets.

Unique in the outdoor industry, the Paddle Nation Grant Program was launched in 2012 with financial support and leadership from Outdoor Retailer and many companies in the paddle-sport industry, including Confluence Outdoor, Johnson Outdoors, Rutabaga Paddlesports, OARS, BIC Sports, Glenbrook, Advanced Elements, River Sport Outfitters and ACK. Leveraging this industry support, the National Park Service joined as a major funder in 2013, significantly expanding the grant program.

Since 2012, More than 80 projects have been funded with more than $212,000 given to noteworthy projects. Working with more than 50 different retailers, 13,746 individuals have gotten outside on waterways, including 8,908 youth. In total, 163,783 hours have been spent outside paddling.

“Thanks to the leadership and support of our partners, we are investing in the ideas and projects that drive a significant increase in participation on our waterways,” said Ivan Levin, deputy director of the Outdoor Foundation. “Through these Paddle Nation Grants, young people across the country will explore rivers, lakes and streams through a variety of activities — resulting in a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts and environmental stewards.”

2017 nonprofit grant recipients include: Arkwings Foundation; Families in Nature; Friends of Ottawa County Parks, Inc.; GirlVentures; Horn of Africa Services; Jackson Street Youth Services; Layaya; Northwest Indiana Paddling Association; Palouse Prairie School; Riveredge Nature Center; and Stoked Mentoring Inc.

The Outdoor Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Outdoor Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor leaders and enthusiasts. Through youth engagement, community grant-making, and groundbreaking research, the Foundation works with young leaders and partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In just five years, the Foundation has invested $4 million into 785 not-for-profit and college programs that have connected 200,000 young people to the outdoors. Importantly, 90¢ of every dollar goes directly into this critical work.

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