St. Louis

The Thrive Outside St. Louis Community, led by newly created River City Outdoors, is activating a growing network of community stakeholders dedicated to making outdoor recreational opportunities more accessible and equitable for their region. The network will work to advocate on behalf of diverse outdoor opportunities in St. Louis’ urban, suburban, and rural areas; make outdoor recreation attractive and accessible for all residents and visitors; maintain and enhance the value of the region’s natural and recreational assets; and accelerate and incubate outdoor businesses, organizations, and programs in and around St. Louis City and County. These efforts will include opportunities for St. Louis Public Schools 6th and 7th graders to paddle on one of the big rivers; 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; and helping grassroots outdoor community groups and events gain traction and build capacity by providing mentoring, education, marketing and fundraising support. Through these and other initiatives, River City Outdoors hopes to foster better mental, physical, and emotional health in the St. Louis community and help create a vibrant city where businesses want to locate and people want to live.

“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