This year 1,895 people will have the opportunity to explore America’s waterways, thanks to Outdoor Foundation’s Paddle Nation Grant Program, which connects youth with their local waterways through recreational paddling. Eleven community-based projects from 11 states are being awarded a total of nearly $25,000 to increase paddlesports participation among youth and young adults across the United States.
Projects were chosen based on their innovation, likelihood of increasing paddling participation, number of youth impacted, partnership potential and budget factors. The Paddle Nation Grants are made possible by support and funding from the Outdoor Foundation and Outdoor Retailer. The awards fund pioneering projects and initiatives that result in increased paddling participation. Projects reinforce the idea that recreational paddling is one of the most accessible and impactful ways in which young Americans are introduced to the outdoors.
The winners are (organization | project | amount):
Arkwings Foundation | Introducing Inner-City Youth to Their River | $2,500
Families in Nature | Familias Aventureras Paddling Program | $2,500
Friends of Ottawa County Parks, Inc. | Float Your Boats | $2,496
GirlVentures | GirlVentures’ Outdoor Adventure Courses: Inspiring a Lifelong Love of Paddling | $2,500
Horn of Africa Services | Summer Youth Engagement Program Kayaking | $434 Jackson Street Youth Services | Willamette
River Experiences for Homeless Youth | $2,060
Layaya | Layaya Discovery Expeditions | $2,500
Northwest Indiana Paddling Association | Trail Creek Week | $2,500
Palouse Prairie School | Confluence of Cultures | $2,300
Riveredge Nature Center | Connecting Families to Nature through Adventure Paddle- sports | $2,500
Stoked Mentoring Inc. | STOKED Stand Up Paddleboarding and Yoga Program | $2,500
Since 2012, More than 80 projects have been funded with more than $212,000 given to note- worthy projects. Working with more than 50 different retailers, 13,746 individuals have got- ten outside on waterways, including 8,908 youth. In total, 163,783 hours have been spent out- side paddling.