The Thrive Outside St. Louis Community, led by River City Outdoor Collaborative, is activating an extensive network of community stakeholders dedicated to making outdoor recreational opportunities more accessible and equitable for their region. Their work is focused on 5 key initiatives:

Rivertime: Engaging St. Louisans in exploring their big, beautiful river assets. Partnering with St. Louis Public Schools to provide 6th and 7th graders with opportunities to paddle on one of the big rivers (Missouri or Mississippi) and engage in educational watershed programming while partnering with Missouri Waterkeeper to make the Missouri River more accessible and ultimately nationally-recognized as a water trail.

Pedal Programs: Partnering with the Missouri Interscholastic Cycling League to develop youth mountain biking teams in North County and South City.

Outdoor Recreation Adventure Club: Partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs to develop long-term programming for youth focused on outdoor recreation activities like rock climbing, paddling, camping, fishing and biking.

Community Organization Accelerator: Helping grassroots outdoor community groups and events gain traction and build capacity by providing mentoring, education, marketing and fundraising support.

City Park/Neighborhood Beautification – Working with the City of St. Louis to invest in North City Parks and partner with four North City aldermen to increase the quantity and frequency of neighborhood clean-up and beautification events in order to create healthy and inviting outdoor environments for over 80,000 residents.

“The St. Louis region offers some of the most unique natural spaces and inspiring recreational opportunities anywhere. So why hasn’t every kid in our community kayaked past the Gateway Arch on the Mississippi River or climbed the boulders at Elephant Rocks State Park? Through River City Outdoors, we are activating an inclusive network of community partners that shatters barriers to access and empowers all St. Louisans to experience the transformative power of nature in our own backyard.”

– Rachel Bartels, River City Outdoors Steering Committee Member

“We’ve been working for the past seven years to accelerate the outdoor recreation culture in the St. Louis region through Terrain Magazine, and now with the launch of River City Outdoors, we’re excited to gather that momentum and truly transform St. Louis into a vibrant, inclusive, outdoor community. This grant, and the additional support and leverage that comes with it, will allow us to maintain the great momentum we’ve gathered and focus it on creating diverse and equitable outdoor programs in our region.”

– Brad Kovach, Editor/Publisher of Terrain Magazine and River City Outdoors Steering Committee Member




Managing Director


Development and Programs Coordinator