Big City Mountaineers Urban Family Gateway Pilot Program a Success

BCM completes first year program with Stewardship Council grant
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San Mateo, Calif. – The Urban Family Gateway (UFG) Pilot Program delivered its 73rd trip this past weekend to families mostly from Alameda County’s unincorporated areas (San Lorenzo, Ashland, and Cherryland). The UFG program, made possible by a grant from The Stewarship Council, reached 740 family members over the course of one year (April 2009 – February 2010). The programs combined seven different trip options including service projects, indoor rock climbing and kayak trips.

“As a single working mom, my family cannot always experience these kinds of activities due to the time and energy it would take to organize such an outing. Not to mention the cost of such a trip,” said one UFG participant. “Big City Mountaineers has a great program, and you have executed the mission and delivered the vision in a seamless and flawless fashion. Thank you again for an awesome experience.”

The Stewardship Council, a land conservation and youth investment program, awarded Big City Mountaineers one of five diverse Collaboration grants in 2009. Big City Mountaineers in Alameda County received $90,000 for the “Urban Families Gateway Program” to help create a partnership with local communities that will help families and their children explore nearby parks.

“The Stewardship Council is hoping to continue to encourage our communities to support families and get their children into healthy activities, and to do things that are good for themselves,” says Steve Hagler, Director of The Stewardship Council, the program’s grant funder.

Nearly 300 of the UFG participants were between the ages of 13 and 19, making the average age of teen participants 15 years of age.

BCM hopes to resume the UFG program with long-term funding in the summer of 2010.

About Big City Mountaineers

BCM is one of the largest non-profits in the country devoted to working exclusively with under-resourced teens by using the outdoors as a transformational element in their lives. BCM runs its recreational mentoring program in selected major urban centers throughout the country, with its largest program areas in Denver and San Francisco. Learn more at