Tapping into the competitive nature of the outdoor industry, Outdoor Foundation and Outdoor Industry Association® have joined forces to launch ‘What Region Rocks?’, a first-of-its-kind, industry-wide competition that challenges outdoor companies and employees to see who can help get the most kids outside. For years, there’s been a debate about what region rules in the outdoor industry. Through this campaign, we’re about to find out.
Supporting the Parks4Kids program, which Outdoor Industry Association and Outdoor Foundation launched earlier this year, the ‘What Region Rocks?’ campaign divides the country into five regions with a total of 50 Parks4Kids projects representing 34 states across the country. To participate, outdoor companies and employees can simply visit the OIA, select a project and make a donation for as little as $10. On average, each project in the campaign needs less than $2,000 and, if every project is funded, the industry will get over 10,000 kids to parks.
The campaign officially launches March 16 and runs for six weeks. The region that generates the most financial support for Parks4Kids projects will be crowned the ‘Region that Rocks’ and earn an additional $1,000 for projects. The winner will be announced at the closing ceremony during the OIA Capitol Summit in Washington D.C. on April 27th.
“The outdoor industry is solidly built on a foundation of collective action and a competitive spirit. Perhaps more than ever, we need both of these extraordinary traits to address one the greatest challenges we face–the growing divide between children and nature. That’s the spirit behind this new industry-wide contest, Regions that Rock,” said Amy Roberts, Executive Director of OIA.
The campaign’s 50 projects have been selected from the Parks4Kids program, which OIA and the Foundation launched at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. Parks4Kids leverages the latest in crowdfunding technology to allow companies large and small in the outdoor industry and other sectors to raise money to fund local projects that connect young people with the country’s parks and open spaces. Thus far, in addition to the original $250,000 financial commitment from OIA and OF, the program has raised more $6,600 from 120 individual donors and fully funded nearly 10 projects. The campaign’s goal is to connect tens of thousands of kids with meaningful park experiences – leading to ongoing outdoor activities and ultimately a nation of outdoor enthusiasts.
On average, it costs only $10 per student to visit a National Park or other public land, yet many schools don’t have the financial resources to ensure that every kid can get there. At the same time, there are many potential outdoor industry members that would like to get involved in the Centennial and sponsor specific park experiences in the communities in which they operate. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been an easy way to connect these supporters and local schools – until now.
The Parks4Kids campaign to make it easy for any company or individual to give any amount and help get an entire elementary school, a specific class or even one student to a park. The campaign’s online platform connects funders from the outdoor industry and other sectors with specific school to park experience projects. With a few clicks, funders can give $10 to $10,000 to the project(s) that most inspires them.
The Parks4Kids program and this ‘What Region Rocks?’ campaign is part of the industry’s yearlong National Park Centennial celebration and ongoing commitment to inspiring a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts. For more information, http://www.parks4kids.info/
The Outdoor Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor leaders and enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, youth engagement and community grant-making, 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 500 not-for-profit and college programs that have connected 200,00 young people to the outdoors. Importantly, 90¢ of every dollar goes directly into this critical work. Visit outdoorfoundation.org for more information.
Outdoor Industry Association®
Based in Boulder, CO, with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA unites and serves over 1300 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, corporate responsibility, outdoor market & consumer insights, industry trends and youth engagement. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.