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Outdoor Nation and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Join Forces to Get Young People Outdoors

May 1, 2012

Media Contact

Stasia Raines
The Outdoor Foundation
(619) 957 9891

Washington, D.C.

Outdoor Nation and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Join Forces to Get Young People Outdoors
Partners to provide activation grants to young adults with big ideas working at GOA retail stores

Outdoor Nation, the Millennial-led movement championing the outdoors, and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, a group of independent outdoor retailers, have joined forces to launch a new activation grant program, which will provide a total of $10,000 to four innovative ‘grassroots’ projects that get young people outdoors and active. Funding will be awarded to bright young leaders who work at one of the more than 70 Grassroots Outdoor Alliance specialty stores. Candidates will submit their best ideas for mobilizing their local retail stores and communities to get outside and active. The initiative is part of the Outdoor Nation grant program that invests in projects spearheaded by the next generation of outdoor leaders.

“Outdoor Nation believes in expanding outdoor youth participation by empowering young leaders to champion the outdoors,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation, the organization that launched Outdoor Nation. “America’s specialty outdoor retailers are cornerstones of our communities. They employ some of the most creative people who are committed to connecting youth with nature. We are proud to partner with Grassroots Outdoor Alliance and their members to invest in innovative project ideas that inspire a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts.” 

Winning community-based, youth-led projects will result in increased outdoor participation and will highlight the work of specialty outdoor retailers. Individuals applying for grants should be current employees at Grassroots Outdoor Alliance member stores. The selected projects will be determined through a competitive application and review process, and will be announced on August 2, 2012 at The Outdoor Retailer Show.

“Grassroots Outdoor Alliance members unite to protect and promote the experience of outdoor enthusiasts across the country through environmental and non-profit initiatives,” said Roanne Miller, president of the Grassroots Alliance. “The activation grants offered by Outdoor Nation are true Grassroots efforts to make a difference in getting youth connected to the outdoors.”

This partnership program is one example of a larger effort to engage specialty outdoor retail stores in the work of The Outdoor Foundation – especially its signature program Outdoor Nation. Increasingly Outdoor Nation grants are awarded to projects that have local retail support. In addition, Outdoor Nation is working with local, regional and national outdoor retailers as part of its series of Summits – which will kick off this summer in New York City’s Central Park and continue through the fall.

“Outdoor specialty stores, particularly Grassroots Outdoor Alliance members, are closely connected to their local communities and work tirelessly to make them better places to work and play,” said Ed McAlister, Grassroots Alliance board member. “We are honored that The Outdoor Foundation recognizes the commitment these stores have to making their communities healthy and active.”

Over the past year, Outdoor Nation has awarded over $150,000 for projects that reconnect young people with nature, and it will continue to announce more grants throughout the year. For more details on all Outdoor Nation grant opportunities, please visit

Outdoor Nation is an initiative of The Outdoor Foundation and was founded with initial support from The North Face, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, The REI Foundation, The Conservation Fund and the National Park Service.
About the Outdoor Foundation 

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 empowerment and effective 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 2010, the Foundation launched Outdoor Nation, a pioneering initiative that empowers young leaders to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities across the United States. To date, the successful initiative has engaged tens of thousands of youth and invested more than $200,000 in over 50 innovative projects spearheaded by young leaders and change-makers. For more information visit: and

About the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance

The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is a group of independent outdoor retailers organized to serve the needs of its member operating over 70 independent specialty outdoor stores throughout North America. Grassroots is dedicated to creating benefits to its members through sharing information, fostering communication, promoting best business practices and protecting our natural environment, locally and globally. For more information visit: