As part of REI's $2.5 million corporate giving program, its store-based grant program awarded $780,000 to 160 conservation groups and outdoor recreation clubs nationwide in June and July. The grants ranged from $2,000 to $10,000 and were given to organizations nominated by employees.
"These grants combined with store community service projects and employee conducted educational outreach are having a broad impact to conserve our natural landscapes and support stewardship and responsible outdoor recreation," said REI Corporate Giving Manager David Jayo. "It is an important part of REI's culture to give back and mobilize communities in environmental stewardship activities."
REI store-based grants support youth-oriented programs, conservation and access to outdoor recreation. The grants add to store-hosted community service projects and PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids) presentations for a broad effort to support environmental stewardship and responsible outdoor recreation on a grassroots level. Through PEAK, employees have taught Leave No Trace principles to 20,812 kids this year.
REI said each one of its stores partners with local community groups to host community service projects, such as trail repairs, removal of invasive species, and coastal cleanups. As of July, REI stores have hosted 97 service projects and involved 5,506 volunteers in environmental stewardship activities, amounting to more than 14,600 hours of labor. Â