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Topic/Keyword: Participation

Thrive Outside Day 2022: A Nationwide Celebration

Thanks to our community leaders, partners, and participants, our 2022 Thrive Outside Day events were an overwhelming success! Read below to learn how Thrive Outside Communities across the country celebrated our collective work to address equity barriers and ensure the outdoor experience for all.



Thrive Outside Day in Atlanta was hosted on November 12 at Rodney Sr. Cook Park in partnership with The Alliance for The Activation of Cook Park. With various outdoor activities to participate in, from mountain biking to a park scavenger hunt, Atlanta really got to see and feel what Thrive Outside is about. Learn more about Thrive Outside Atlanta.

“This was such a beautiful event, it reminds me of field day when I was a kid” — Old Fourth Ward community member

“It is so refreshing to see Black faces advocating for outdoor play and education for our youth.” — Old Fourth Ward community member

“Thank you for allowing us to learn more about your organization through this event. We can’t wait to partner with you all.” — Amphibian Foundation



The Nature Conservancy sponsored Organic Oneness’ (OO) Be the Healing: Reparations Conference to celebrate Thrive Outside Day in Chicago. The conference explored innovative approaches to reparations including restoration, repair, and healing at the individual, community, and institutional levels, inclusive of policy changes. Over the course of three days, Dr. Joy DeGruy and Dr. Bahia addressed the historical harm and trauma of racism and colonization through an inspirational and solution-oriented global lens. Chicago community leaders led community tours addressing various ways reparations are being carried out within the ecosystem of their neighborhoods. By addressing racism, trauma, and healing as a collective, Chicago will be more successful in decreasing risk factors and increasing protective factors within education, employment, general health, family structures, and community networks. Learn more about Thrive Outside Chicago.



Thrive Outside Detroit welcomed the Wilderness Inquiry Canoemobile to town October 10-12 to celebrate Thrive Outside Day. Youth and their families participated in a paddle on local waters with Wilderness Inquiry staff as well as a range of fun and educational land-based activities. Local partners such as Belle Isle Nature Center, Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), Friends of the Detroit River, Detroit Outdoors, Friends of the Rouge River, and US Forest Service Urban Connections all pitched in to help students experience Belle Isle, the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, and DPSCD’s own Camp Burt Shurly. Learn more about Thrive Outside Detroit.

“They can have this powerful experience and then want to come back to this park with their family,” Dempsey says. “They might be the one that says, ‘Hey, let’s go down that trail. I actually know what’s down there. Let’s go see this beaver lodge that’s down there because I did that when I was here last October.’ So they can become the leaders for their friends and their family when they come to this park because they’ve got this relationship with this park.” — Garrett Dempsey, program director of Detroit Outdoors

“There is so much research that supports not only that kids being outside and enjoying nature allows them to bridge connections to what they’re learning in the classroom, but also just from a personal development perspective—for them to have an opportunity to go out of their comfort zone. It’s so formative in their development.” — Monica DeGarmo, teacher at the Academy of the Americas


Thrive Outside Days kicked off on September 24 with an open house at the gear library. Three additional events were hosted in October focusing on building community, especially in the neighborhood around the gear library. Activities included camping workshops, music, gear library tours, kayaking demos, bonfires, and walking local trails. Learn more about Thrive Outside Grand Rapids.


The ECO-BIPOC Thrive Outside Day Maine event was hosted on November 19 at Bradbury Mountain alongside The Third Place. Attendees shared joy, built connections, and hiked together. In addition, the Thrive Outside Maine community sent free State Parks passes to over 235 BIPOC individuals and organizational leaders in Maine, to acknowledge the barrier of cost and the community commitment it takes to overcome it when it comes to access to outdoor spaces in Maine. Through their partnership with Outdoor Foundation as well as The Third Place, Bureau of Parks & Lands, Maine Initiatives, Leonard C. and Mildred F. Ferguson Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy, Thrive Outside Maine is taking action to support access to nature for people of color in Maine, in addition to working on broader systems-change efforts. Learn more about Thrive Outside Maine.

“Nature is critically important to my worldview, my relationship with natural ecologies, and how I live my life. Being in Nature has allowed me to surmount intense obstacles in my life, from growing up in poverty, to stress relief from coping with constant racism and othering to the benefits of being active and maintaining better health. The reality for many Indigenous people in Maine is that a significant number of us still live close to the poverty line or below it. While I understand that park fees are necessary to fund maintenance, if we don’t have programs like yours to support access, we are excluding those who may need it most because they don’t have the resources to vacation in beautiful places, or to travel just for enjoyment. I remember growing up, the only state parks I went to were for school trips. We didn’t have vacations, and if we went to visit Nature it was on the river or at a local lake or pond that was free to access. I never went skiing, kayaking, or sailing. I went to a kid’s camp once, because it was subsidized by a church. And of course, I was required to follow church rules, even though I was Indigenous. We should not have to be indoctrinated into a religion just to get a chance to go to summer camp.” — Mihku Paul

“Being away from home and family is quite hard. Nature connects me to experiences that I had when around the family or activities we used to do. The beach, the trees, the birds…” — Manuel Cruz

“I am at peace and tranquility when walking in nature.” — Hana Tallan



Thrive Outside OKC celebrated Thrive Outside Day all month long in conjunction with RIVERSPORT’s Outdoor October initiative. Events included the Oklahoma Regatta Festival, Biketober, Dogtober, and the Red Coyote Half Marathon. Partner organizations included USRowing, Yukon BMX, Country Roads Animal Rescue, and Red Coyote Running & Fitness. Activities included rowing races, kayak races, family bike rides, BMX races, SUP with your pup, and a half-marathon. Learn more about Thrive Outside Oklahoma City



Thrive Outside Day Philadelphia was hosted by The Schuylkill River Greenways, Berks Nature, and the Alliance for Watershed Education (AWE) on Saturday, September 24. The event included a bike ride on the Circuit Trails’ Schuylkill River Trail and an outdoor education event at the turn-around location, Berks Nature’s The Nature Place environmental center in Reading, PA. Learn more about Thrive Outside Philadelphia.


Thrive Outside San Diego hosted a series of Thrive Outside Day events throughout the month of October. Event activities included hikes, mountain biking, yoga, gardening, camping, and more. Thrive Outside San Diego’s steering committee member, the County of San Diego Parks and Recreation, also launched the Experience the Outdoors campaign, which is designed to address equity barriers so that everyone can experience the outdoors. Learn more about Thrive Outside San Diego.

“There’s something so special about starting your day, stretching, and finding balance in a park. The fresh air, the birds singing, even the buzzing of the bees. It just puts your body at ease, and I can’t wait to come back!” — Marie, workshop attendee

“I volunteer to do trail maintenance in the other part of the preserve, but it’s always nice to stop here, say ‘hi’ to the rangers, and see what they put out on their table. It’s hands-on, but I learn a lot just by listening in.”  — Jose, youth volunteer

“It was great to entertain so many excited kids and to see parents reliving their youth. It’s an educational experience that’s also a ton of fun.” — Kyle Icke, Supervising Park Ranger



Thrive Outside Day Seattle was celebrated on October 28. More than 30 outdoor recreation organizations, including Washington State Parks, the Service Board, and Braided Seeds, convened to discuss current issues and access barriers to the outdoors, and highlight the great work already happening in this space. This convening was held in preparation for the launch of the Outdoor Recreation Action Team in early 2023, which will build and strengthen the network of diverse organizations focused on outdoor access and equity. Learn more about Thrive Outside Seattle.


River City Outdoors celebrated Thrive Outside Day St. Louis in collaboration with Thomas Dunn Learning Center, the Marquette Recreation Center of the City of St. Louis, Connections to Succes, and The Youth Violence Prevention Council. The block party event took place in Dutchtown, which has some of the highest rates of violent crime in St. Louis and is in the footprint of Cure Violence, a violence prevention program that has been introduced to the city in hopes to calm the neighborhood. Streets were shut down to traffic and the fire Department was also there engaging the community. Non-profit agencies engaged the community and shared about the services they provide. Children and their families enjoyed face painting, a bounce house, games, dancing, and arts and crafts projects that they could take home with them. The highlight of the evening was a group of local street performers who danced and did some amazing fire-throwing tricks. Learn more about Thrive Outside St. Louis.

“This is what community looks like.” — Event participant
“Let’s do this every year.” — Event participant


Twelve local outdoor organizations hosted Twin Cities Thrive Outside Day on October 8 at Boom Island, located right on the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis. The event celebrated the transformative benefits of the outdoors while engaging Minnesotans to build community and ensure that everyone has equitable access to outdoor spaces and experiences. Participants enjoyed canoeing, urban birding, mountain biking, hiking with plant identification, youth Zumba, fishing, fire building, and equipment demonstrations. Learn more about Thrive Outside Twin Cities.

“I was able to talk to attendees about recreational opportunities on federal lands and the programs available for getting youth and those with permanent disabilities in parks and forests.” — Partner agency

“It was great to connect with the other organizations at the event. I thought the networking was excellent. Looking forward to hopeful collaboration in the future.” — Partner agency

“Oodles and oodles of fun. We went out on the water, and it was fabulously calm and the trees looked fabulous” — Event participant


On Saturday, October 29, members of the Anacostia Park and Community Collaborative and Washington, D.C. Thrive Outside coalition partnered to engage Ward 7 and 8 youth and families in a day-long celebration of family, nature, and the harvest season. This event was co-planned with community input and included a pumpkin and turkey giveaway, Trunk or Treat, and live music featuring Bela Dona, an all-girl, local favorite Go-Go band. Other activities included fishing, boating, skating, and seasonal craft-making. The overall goal of the day was to activate stressed DC residents in safe, meaningful outdoor engagement in Anacostia Park. Learn more about Thrive Outside D.C.

“This is an awesome way to end the season with the community.” — Event participant

“I am so happy I came down here, I did not even know this park was here” — Event participant

2022 Special Report on Hunting and the Shooting Sports

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The 2022 Special Report on Hunting and the Shooting Sports provides a comprehensive look at the more than 30 million Americans ages 6 and over who participated at least once in hunting or target shooting with both firearms and archery equipment in 2021. The report identifies trends and includes detailed information about participation including motivations, barriers, and preferences of participants. Highlights from the report include: Hunting:
  • 4.6 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 and over went hunting at least once
  • 27 percent of participants were female, up from 16 percent a decade ago
  • Share of hunters who were Black or Hispanic increased 4 percent and 1 percent, respectively, on average for the past 3 years
  • “For food/meat” was the number one motivation for hunting
  • 49 percent of hunters first participated before the age of 18
  • 68 percent of hunters were introduced to hunting by a family members
Firearms Target Shooting:
  • 6.2 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 and over participated in target shooting
  • 32 percent of participants were female, up from 25 percent a decade ago
  • Share of target shooters who were Black or Hispanic increased 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively, on average for the past 3 years
  • “For recreation” was the number one motivation for target shooting
  • “High cost” was the number one barrier reported for target shooting
Archery Target Shooting:
  • 2.4 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 and over participated in archery
  • 39 percent of participants were female, the highest since 2016
  • Archers are slightly more diverse that firearms target shooters
  • “For recreation” was the number one motivation for target shooting
  • 19 percent of participants shot solely on public property/ranges
This special report was developed by the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports and the Outdoor Foundation.

Webinar: Outdoor Workforce Insights

Watch on-demand!

Live date: Wednesday, August 24, 2022, 1:00 PM MDT

Description: Join OIA and industry experts to gain exclusive insights on the current state and the future of the outdoor workforce. Explore major trends in workforce hiring and retention and learn where the industry stands in its efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion. Panelists will discuss key findings from the newly-released Outdoor Industry Workforce Assessment, and what these findings mean for outdoor businesses and the industry at large.

Moderator: Kelly Davis, Research Director, Outdoor Industry Association


Jasmine K. Brown, M.S., Doctoral Student, Department of Forestry, Michigan State University

Kristen Freaney,

Chris Perkins, Senior Director, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable


The Outdoor Industry Workforce Assessment was conducted by Oregon State University’s Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy with input and support from Outdoor Industry Association, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, Basecamp Outdoor, Path to Peak Education + Consulting, and the Confluence of States. Financial support for the development and execution of this survey was provided by a grant from The VF Foundation.


Outdoor Retailer Industry Lunch: A Look at the Past, Present, and Future of Public Lands

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Live Date: Friday, June 10, 2022

The protection of lands and waters is foundational to the outdoor industry. From the creation and protection of national monuments to the development of neighborhood parks, it is essential to ensure that all Americans and our future generations are guaranteed the physical and mental health benefits of outdoor recreation. Time and time again, outdoor companies have united to raise our industry’s voice in defense of public lands and waters when they have come under threat. Under the current Congress and the Biden administration, the industry is at an important crossroads, with ample opportunities to demonstrate the importance of these lands and accessibility: from the consideration of a public lands package to the implementation of America the Beautiful, an ambitious proposal to conserve 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030. What role can the industry play to ensure that these pivotal opportunities yield a more equitable, accessible outdoors and ensure a thriving future for the planet? How can we continue to integrate lessons learned from the history of public lands and inequities, the traditional indigenous knowledge and practices in stewardship, and the stories of underrepresented communities to ensure that public lands are developed and maintained for all Americans in the years to come? 

Join OIA for an informative discussion with key stakeholders, industry leaders, and representatives from Washington, D.C., to reflect on the history of public lands in America; the tools and innovations Congress and the administration may use to create new, shared spaces; and the opportunities to make a difference in 2022. 

Moderator: Richard W. Harper, Jr., Director of Government Affairs, Outdoor Industry Association 


Shoren Brown, Interim Executive Director, The Conservation Alliance

Theresa Conn, Director of Sustainability, NEMO Equipment

Ángel Peña, Executive Director, Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project

Madeleine West, Director, Center for Public Lands, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

Bill Lee, Senior Vice President for Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations, Trust for Public Lands (Virtual)

 Joel Moffet, Director of Environmental and Special Projects, Native Americans in Philanthropy (Virtual)

Outdoor Retailer Education Session: State of The Outdoor Market Summer 2022

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Live Date: Thursday, June 9, 2022

Join OIA for a presentation on participation in outdoor activities, consumer trends in outdoor, supply chain disruptions, pandemic-to-endemic outdoor habits, and consumer perspectives. Learn what the data is telling us about supply and demand, increased diversity across the participation base, the new consumer journey into the outdoor market, and what opportunities lie ahead of us post-pandemic. Kelly Davis, Director of Research for OIA, will discuss business, participation, buying behaviors and social trends and how they impact the outdoor market.  Expect to walk away from this session with a clear view of current activity in the outdoor market and to know what the future likely has in store for outdoor market players over the next year.

Presenter: Kelly Davis, Director of Research, Outdoor Industry Association

Outdoor Retailer Industry Lunch: Collective Impact in Action

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Live Date: Thursday, June 9, 2022

Through community investment and groundbreaking research, the Outdoor Foundation’s Thrive Outside Initiative works with partners across the country to address outdoor equity barriers and help make the outdoors accessible for all. The collective impact model is the foundation upon which the Thrive Outside Initiative is built. Collective impact brings people together—in a structured way—to achieve social change.

Learn how the Outdoor Foundation and our Thrive Outside Communities are working to integrate the collective impact model to drive equity and systems change in the outdoors. Panelists will share their experiences working through a collective impact model, connecting youth and families from historically marginalized communities with nature, and addressing the outdoor equity barriers that exist in communities.

Moderator: Jacob Fisher, Program Coordinator, Outdoor Foundation


Akiima Price, Director, Thrive Outside Washington D.C.

Heather Rossetti, Manager, Thrive Outside San Diego

2022 Outdoor Industry Workforce Assessment

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The Outdoor Industry Workforce Assessment looks to identify major trends in workforce hiring and retention, help further educational and up-skilling initiatives, and provide a snapshot of where the industry stands in its efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion. Key findings from the survey include the following:
  • New hires: The industry expects to hire for a high volume of entry and skilled professional positions over the next year.
  • Work/life balance: Outdoor companies are prioritizing flexible work arrangements and work-life balance as attraction and retention strategies ahead of employee benefits and financial rewards.
  • Qualified applicants: 66% of survey respondents report having difficulty finding qualified applicants. The largest barriers to recruiting hard-to-fill jobs are finding qualified applicants, and lack of affordable housing options proximal to the job location.
  • Increasing DEI: Companies who have a diversity plan in place are utilizing a wide variety of methods and tactics to achieve their goals. However, companies that do not currently have a diversity plan in place largely do not plan to implement one or do not know where to start.
Read key takeaways from the report and areas of opportunity for organizations and the outdoor industry here. The Outdoor Industry Workforce Assessment was conducted by Oregon State University’s Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy with input and support from Outdoor Industry Association, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, Basecamp Outdoor, Path to Peak Education + Consulting, and the Confluence of States. Financial support for the development and execution of this survey was provided by a grant from The VF Foundation.

2021 Outdoor Foundation Annual Report

Read the Outdoor Foundation’s 2021 Annual Report to see evidence of the transformational impact our network delivers, insights from our 2021 research reports, and success stories from our partners across the country.

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2022 Special Report on Fishing

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Recreational fishing is a vibrant part of America’s outdoor tradition, promoting wellness, fostering bonding with family and friends, and forging a deep connection with nature, particularly amid COVID-19 related limitations. Whether fishing on lakes, rivers, streams, or seas; from shorelines, boats, or embankments; millions of Americans were united in 2021 by the love of fishing. Using 15 years of fishing participation data, the Outdoor Foundation and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) partnered to produce the Special Report on Fishing for the 12th consecutive year. This report provides a comprehensive look at overall trends in participation, as well as detailed information on specific fishing categories. Insights include motivations, barriers, and preferences of key groups. Special sections are dedicated to youth, Hispanic Americans, and females—populations we must engage, activate, and retain to ensure future growth. Key findings from the report include the following:
  • In 2021, 52.4 million Americans went fishing, up 4.5% over 2019.
  • 12.9 million youth (ages 6-17) went fishing in 2021, up 14% over 2019.
  • 4.7 million Hispanics fished in 2021, up 7% over 2019.
  • 19.4 million women went fishing in 2021, up 8% over 2019.
  • 86% of current fishing participants first fished before age 12, demonstrating the critical importance of introducing fishing at a young age.
  • Americans primarily fished to enjoy the splendor of nature while escaping the usual demands of life.