Outdoor Nation, a national initiative created to reconnect millennials to the outdoors; top paddle-sport manufacturers and retailers; Outdoor Retailer; and the National Park Service announced the opening of the 2014 Paddle Nation Grants. This initiative, now in its third year, will award $2,500 to each of the 16 paddling projects that connect young Americans to their waterways through recreational paddling.
Winning projects will reinforce the idea that recreational paddling is one of the most accessible and impactful ways to introduce young Americans to the outdoors, said the group. They must be in partnership with a 501c3 and should utilize social media channels as a way to reach additional audiences and engage participants. Projects that involve a national water trail, wild and scenic rivers, or a local outdoor retailer sponsor will be given special consideration. So will those that engage family or multi-generational populations and urban or underserved communities.
“Paddle Nation Grants will not only get more young people outside and active on America’s waterways, but it will also educate and elevate the importance of protecting these resources,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation, the organization that started the Outdoor Nation movement. ”As a result, millennials across the country will explore rivers, lakes and streams through a variety of different activities – from kayaking to stand up paddle boarding – while encouraging their peers to join them on the water.”
The 2012 and 2013 Paddle Nation Grants awarded $60,000 in grants funding 25 projects and engaging more than 3,600 people in paddle sport activities, organizing 150 outdoor outings and resulting in more than 2,400 hours spent participating in paddle sports, according to the group.
For more information or to apply for a Paddle Nation Grant, visit outdoornation.org/grants.