In its third year, program awards 16 non-profit organizations with $100,000 to help connect KEEN fans to wild places and preserve them for future generations to be inspired by.
KEEN, Inc., a values led, independently-owned outdoor and lifestyle footwear brand, is dedicated to protecting and preserving access to the places we all play. Today, KEEN announces the grantees of its KEEN Effect grant program – which supports non-profits globally – and the commitment of $100,000 to support the vision and mission of these worthy organizations.
“KEEN’s commitment to conservation is all encompassing,” stated Jose Witt, Southern Nevada Director, Friends of Nevada Wilderness. “Many companies have a single-pronged approach to their conservation efforts. These efforts may focus on getting more people outside through recreation, fostering stewardship with boots on the ground, promoting responsible use with Leave No Trace education or creating awareness for an area that needs a higher level of protection. KEEN has a hand in all of these efforts, which is truly the way real conservation gets done.”
In its third year, the KEEN Effect grant program is part of the KEEN Effect – the brand’s responsibility program, which has donated more than $10 million to non-profits around the world since 2004. The KEEN Effect encourages KEEN fans and employees to introduce non-profit organizations that align with the company’s outdoor-focused, core values to the brand. Since its inception in 2013, the KEEN Effect grant program has awarded more than $222,000 to organizations who inspire responsible outdoor participation and work to preserve the special places we play – today that number will grow by $100,000.
This year, the program received more than 500 applications from 49 states and nine countries. The 16 grantees were chosen by an internal grant review committee, made up of a dozen KEEN employees from various functions within the organization.
The 2016 KEEN Effect are listed below, along with a description of what KEEN Effect dollars will support:
· Escalando Fronteras – Monterrey, Mexico: Introduce rock climbing to marginalized youth in Mexico in an effort to foster a lifelong, sustainable relationship with the outdoors, and empowering them to be self-aware and courageous.
· Friends of Nevada Wilderness – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA: Mobilizing volunteers from outdoor and business communities to repair and restore desert landscapes in Nevada’s Piece of the Grand Canyon: Gold Butte, Nevada.
· West Virginia Rivers Coalition – Charleston, West Virginia, USA: Connect the people of West Virginia to Birthplace of Rivers – an icon of hope for future generations of West Virginians, and a sustainable economy.
· Idaho Conservation League – Boise, Idaho, USA: Preserve Idaho’s clean water, wilderness, and the quality of life through citizen action, public education, and professional advocacy, and specifically with this grant – the stewardship of Central Idaho’s wild places.
· Friends of Saguaro National Park Tucson, Arizona, USA: Engage over 6,000 Tucson area youth in experiential learning, recreation, and conservation activities in Saguaro National Park.
· Grand Staircase-Escalante Partners, Inc. – Kanab, Utah, USA: Preserve the vast landscape of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations, by supporting the Grand Staircase Escalante River Watershed Partnership – the largest Riparian Restoration conservation youth training program in the country.
· Greening of Detroit – Detroit, Michigan, USA: Enhance the quality of life for Detroiters by repurposing the land to create beautiful and productive green spaces and introduce Detroit children to nature by connecting them to wildlife, flora and fauna in their own neighborhoods.
· Nature Bridge Washington D.C., USA: Foster environmental literacy to sustain our planet through hands-on environmental science programs With 500 Washington D.C. 5th grade students in Prince Williams Forest National Park.
· Outdoor Outreach – California, USA: Support Outdoor Outreach’s Outdoor Voices program – and provide outdoor leadership and advocacy skills to young adults, who will use learned skills to effectively advocate to preserve and protect access to the places where they recreate.
· Shining Stars Foundation – Winter Park, Colorado, USA: Offer opportunities for families who have a child/children facing cancer or another life-threatening illness to get outside and participate in a family strengthening outdoor adventure.
· Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Northern Alberta – Alberta, Canada: Map and analyze the Eastern Slopes of Northern Alberta for recreation appropriate activities, concerns and impacts for public lands and wilderness, and create stewardship plans from the research.
· Trails Youth Initiatives, Inc. – Newmarket, Ontario, Canada: Provide equipment and opportunities for Toronto Youth participate in outdoor activities and learn Leave No Trace principles.
· Ascend: Leadership Through Athletics – Norfolk, VA, US with project work in Afghanistan: Empower young girls in Kabul Province of Afghanistan to be change makers, by taking them on day hikes and showing them the freedom, confidence, and joy found in outdoor recreation.
· Edible Schoolyard – Berkeley, California, USA: Connect over 1,000 urban students to the natural world by supporting a 1 acre garden, which instills in young people an understanding of the interdependence between humans and the nature.
· Gifford Pinchot Task Force – Portland, Oregon, USA: Bring youth and adult volunteers from metro areas to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to do on-the-ground conservation and citizen science.
· Mazamas – Portland, Oregon, USA: Organize the voices of responsible recreation, conservation, and the outdoor industry to adequately represent the values of outdoor recreation in Oregon
“The KEEN team is passionate and motivated for public land protection — they don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk,” said Matt Kearns, Outreach Director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “It’s inspiring to have our grassroots initiative partner with a stellar national outdoor brand like KEEN, and to benefit from the additional media, support, and experience the KEEN team brings with them.”
KEEN Effect blog post | http://blog.keenfootwear.com/2016/09/06/2016-keen-effect-grantees/
KEEN is a values-led, independently owned outdoor footwear brand from Portland, Oregon with a mission to responsibly create original and versatile products, improve lives, and inspire outside adventure. Founded in 2003, KEEN ignited a revolution in the footwear industry with the introduction of the Newport sandal, launching the concept of Hybrid footwear into the market and setting KEEN on a path of driving consistent product innovation that exists today. KEEN strives to live by its values, from its products to its actions, and by activating communities and individuals to protect and preserve the places where we work and play. KEEN passionately endeavors to live fulfilling lives, challenge the status quo, do good, give back, and inspire others. Learn more at: http://www.keenfootwear.com.