Conservation Alliance Launches Backyard Collective Program - SNEWS

Conservation Alliance Launches Backyard Collective Program

ConservationNEXT Project to Help Outdoor Industry Volunteers Get Their Hands Dirty for Conservation
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December 30, 2008, Bend, Oregon – ConservationNEXT, a program of The Conservation Alliance announced the launch of the Backyard Collective, a stewardship program that will bring together outdoor industry employees and Conservation Alliance grantees for a day of environmental stewardship.

The first Backyard Collective event will take place on January 9 in San Leandro, CA in partnership with Oakland-based nonprofit Save the Bay. Up to 160 employees from nine Bay Area outdoor industry companies will restore wetland habitat in Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline Park. Companies sponsoring the event include The North Face, Clif Bar, REI, Mountain Hardwear, Camelbak, Wilderness Press, and Ahnu Footwear.

Morning and afternoon clean-up sessions will overlap midday with a BBQ and volunteer fair where people can meet Conservation Alliance grantees, and learn how they can participate in future volunteer projects. Representatives from California Wilderness Coalition, Friends of the River, Ventana Wilderness Alliance and Friends of the Inyo will be on hand to talk about their conservation efforts, and seek volunteers from the day's participants.
The Conservation Alliance launched ConservationNEXT in August, 2008 to connect individuals in the outdoor industry with the work of organizations that receive financial support from the Alliance. ConservationNEXT.com provides people with opportunities to take online action in support of conservation. The Backyard Collective moves that action to the field, and helps people get their hands dirty in their own communities.
“This project represents ConservationNEXT's commitment to making conservation happen, not just online, but by being the place where volunteers and projects connect directly,” said Brook Shinsky, ConservationNEXT volunteer and employee at The North Face. “We're bringing together companies that are competitors on a day-to-day basis, and inviting them to work together on an issue that is bigger than any of us, and has a direct impact on our industry.”
Amber Hoffman, Outreach Specialist at REI Berkley said, “REI's partnership with The Conservation Alliance is a superb match. Our mission is to inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Through efforts like the Backyard Collective and ConservationNEXT.com, The Conservation Alliance is helping to create the next generation of outdoor stewards, people who will be stewards for a lifetime.”

Conservation Alliance Executive Director John Sterling agreed. “Our ConservationNEXT program is building a community of people within the outdoor industry who want to become more actively involved in the work of The Conservation Alliance and our grantees,” he said. “We look forward to planning additional Backyard Collective projects throughout 2009 and beyond.”



About the Conservation Alliance:
The Conservation Alliance is an organization of outdoor businesses whose collective contributions support grassroots environmental organizations and their efforts to protect wild places where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Alliance funds have played a key role in protecting rivers, trails, wildlands and climbing areas.

Membership in the Alliance is open to companies representing all aspects of the outdoor industry, including manufacturers, retailers, publishers, mills and sales representatives. The result is a diverse group of businesses whose livelihood depends on protecting our natural environment.

Since its inception in 1989, the Alliance has contributed more than $7 million to grassroots environmental groups. Alliance funding has helped save over 39 million acres of wildlands; 27 dams have either been stopped or removed; and the group helped preserve access to more than 16,000 miles of waterways and several climbing areas.

For complete information on the Conservation Alliance, see www.conservationalliance.com.




Media Contacts:
Brook Shinsky
The North Face
303.717.3849
brook_shinsky@vfc.com

Deanna Kavanaugh-Jones
The Forest Group530.344.0100 deanna@theforestgroup.com

John Sterling
The Conservation Alliance
541.389.2424
john@conservationalliance.com

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