Bend, Ore., â€“ ConservationNEXT, the outreach arm of The Conservation Alliance, held a Backyard Collective stewardship project in three of Portland's parks on Friday. More than 235 employees from eight Conservation Alliance member companies participated in trail restoration, invasive weed removal, and other projects in Forest Park, Sellwood Park, and along Johnson Creek. The event was the sixth Backyard Collective in 2010, and the largest yet.
â€œIt's great to get outdoor industry folks out in the field for a day of gratifying restoration work,â€ said Serena Bishop, Conservation Alliance Program Associate, who organized the Portland event. â€œThis is our way of connecting our member companies with our grantees and their important conservation work.â€
The Backyard Collective was organized with the Forest Park Conservancy and the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, who identified the volunteer projects. In addition, the event featured a lively â€œenvironmental fairâ€ that provided conservation organizations the opportunity to share information about their work with the day's volunteers.
Volunteers included employees from: Columbia Sportswear; KEEN; Nau; Horny Toad/Lizard Lounge; The North Face; REI; Under Solen Media; and Ben Moon Photography. Columbia turned out 200 employees in three large busses.
â€œConservation should be both meaningful and fun,â€ said Bishop. â€œWe love seeing competitors working together for something bigger than their individual brands.â€
The next Backyard Collective is slated for September 28 in Bend, Oregon's Skyline Forest.
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 $8.3 million to grassroots environmental groups. Alliance funding has helped save over 49 million acres of wildlands; 28 dams have either been stopped or removed; and the group helped preserve access to more than 17,000 miles of waterways and several climbing areas.
For complete information on the Conservation Alliance, see www.conservationalliance.com.