Stuff in the ‘Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’ Category

Together Outdoors to Support “Front Line” DEI Orgs Through New Grant Program

Washington, D.C. (August 8, 2022) – The Together Outdoors (TO) Coalition, an initiative committed to advancing equity and inclusion in all aspects of the outdoor recreation experience, is excited to announce a new grant program designed to support organizations on the front lines of the effort to build a more accessible, welcoming outdoor ecosystem. This program, in addition to TO’s overall efforts is made possible thanks to foundational and multi-year support from THOR Industries, with support from Winnebago Industries for this grant opportunity.

“Funding from the initial pilot round of our grant program will go directly to frontline, grassroots leaders and organizations working to make the outdoors more accessible and welcoming,” said Gerry Seavo James, TO Coalition Lead. “This grant program epitomizes exactly what Together Outdoors was founded on doing – to help with incubating an environment where all people have access to welcoming outdoor recreation experiences, and we look forward to expanding this effort in the future.”

Grant Focus Areas:

Research + Resources – Monetary support for the development of effective research and resource tools concerning inclusion in the outdoors (i.e., toolkits, educational resources, audio and video resources, linguistic translations, etc.).

Activating Change Outdoors – Outdoor recreation-related programming, events and leadership development initiatives that benefit communities of color and intersecting minority groups.

“At THOR, our purpose is to inspire and empower everyone to Go Everywhere. Stay Anywhere. Our family of companies offer a comprehensive range of RVs and travel tools to help connect people with nature and with one another,” shared Bob Martin, THOR president and CEO. “In support of Together Outdoors’ mission to alleviate barriers to inclusion in the outdoors, THOR is honored to empower front-line organizations driven to cultivate the necessary change that will allow everyone to Go Everywhere and Stay Anywhere.”

This is TO’s inaugural grant program. The initial pilot round will offer $25,000 in funding focused on organizations with revenue under $100,000 that are led by, or serve a majority constituency of, communities of color and/or intersecting minority groups. Applications will be reviewed by Together Outdoors’ Advisory and Governance Council members and are due by September 5th, 2022 at 11:59 P.M EST. Awards will be disbursed by September 30th, 2022.

In the first year of the program, projects must take place in one of the following 27 states or territories to be eligible for the grant: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, West Virginia, & Virginia. Future rounds of this grant program will be open to applicants nationwide.

“At Winnebago Industries we help our customers explore the outdoor lifestyle, enabling extraordinary mobile experiences as they travel, live, work and play. We are excited to extend our support to grassroots organizations committed to removing barriers and creating inclusive outdoor spaces,” said Jil Littlejohn Bostick, Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Winnebago Industries.

Written or video submissions will be accepted. Information about the timeline, eligibility and where to submit applications can be found here. If you have any questions or problems, please contact us at togetheroutdoors@recreationroundtable.org.

$788 Billion Industry Celebrates Recreation Wins in Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 6th – Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) provided the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the infrastructure package, with $100 million in outdoor recreation infrastructure support included, among other programs vital to the outdoor recreation economy, sending it to President Biden’s desk.

“We appreciate the hard work by President Biden, members of his administration, the House and Senate to come to an agreement on a broad and impactful bipartisan infrastructure package that invests in our local communities, our public lands and waters, and our people,” said Jessica Wahl Turner, president of ORR. “This infrastructure package provides an opportunity to not only rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges and airports, but also to improve the infrastructure behind our beloved public lands and waters.”

Turner continued, “Meaningful investments in transportation, public lands, rural development, and natural infrastructure connect more people to the outdoors and strengthen the outdoor recreation economy. This creates new jobs, helps the U.S. remain globally competitive, and ensures we recover from the impacts the pandemic had on businesses, local communities, our health, and our quality of life. We encourage Congress to advance this historic package to the President’s desk as quickly as possible.”

The outdoor recreation industry is especially appreciative that the bipartisan infrastructure bill includes:

$100 million for restoring, preparing, or adapting recreation sites on Federal lands: This is a key provision the outdoor recreation business community worked on and is imperative to ensure the continued growth and success of the industry as well as safe and quality outdoor experiences for all Americans.

Reauthorization of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund: This important funding supports fishery restoration and conservation efforts, boating access and infrastructure, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, as well as important fish stocking programs.

Investments in Natural Infrastructure: As we are increasingly dealing with the impacts of extreme weather across the country due to climate change, such as droughts, hurricanes and wildfires, these vital investments in natural infrastructure solutions, including green infrastructure, coastal restoration, and regenerative agriculture will help strengthen conservation, enhance outdoor recreation experiences, and reduce carbon emissions. The National Culvert Removal, Replacement, and Restoration Grant Program will greatly benefit recreational fishing and its enormous impact on local economies and communities.

Forest Service’s Legacy Road and Trail Program:  The authorization of $250 million for this important program will help to increase recreation opportunities by investing in maintenance of Forest Service roads and trails near threatened water bodies.