Boulder, CO.– Tapping into the competitive nature of the outdoor industry, Outdoor Foundation (OF) and Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) announced today that the Intermountain Region of the US won ‘What Region Rocks?’ the industry-wide competition that challenged outdoor companies and employees to see who could help get the most kids outside.
In support of the Parks4Kids program, which OIA and Outdoor Foundation launched earlier this year, the ‘What Region Rocks?’ campaign divided the country into five regions with a total of 50 Parks4Kids projects representing 34 states across the country. To participate, outdoor companies and employees visited the OIA site, selected a project and made a donation for as little as $10. Over 800 kids will have the opportunity to get outside as a result of the campaign.
"On behalf of the 4th grade crew at Glenwood Springs Elementary School in Colorado, I would like to express our sincere thanks. We are very grateful for the amazing supporters of the Parks4Kids campaign,” said Julie Allen a 4th grade teacher in the winning Intermountain Region. “The money raised will go directly to our fall expedition fieldwork and will allow our students a hands on, real world learning opportunity at Black Canyon in Gunnison National Park. Again, thank you for truly making a difference in our children's education."
The campaign officially launched March 16 and ran for six weeks. The campaign’s 50 projects were selected from the Parks4Kids program, which OIA and the Foundation launched this year at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. Parks4Kids leverages the latest in crowdfunding technology to allow companies large and small in the outdoor industry and other sectors to raise money to fund local projects that connect young people with the country’s parks and open spaces. To date, in addition to the original $250,000 financial commitment from OIA and OF, the program has raised more than $75,600 from 218 individual donors and fully funded more than projects. The campaign’s goal is to connect tens of thousands of kids with meaningful park experiences – leading to ongoing outdoor activities and ultimately a nation of outdoor enthusiasts.
Nationally on average, it costs only $10 per student to visit a National Park or other public land, yet many schools don’t have the financial resources to ensure that every kid can get there. At the same time, there are many potential outdoor industry members that would like to get involved in the Centennial and sponsor specific park experiences in the communities in which they operate. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been an easy way to connect these supporters and local schools – until now.
The Parks4Kids campaign makes it easy for any company or individual to give any amount and help get an entire elementary school, a specific class or even one student to a park. The campaign’s online platform connects funders from the outdoor industry and other sectors with specific school to park experience projects. With a few clicks, funders can give $10 to $10,000 to the project(s) that most inspires them.
The Parks4Kids program and this, ‘What Region Rocks?’ campaign are part of the industry’s yearlong National Park Centennial celebration and ongoing commitment to inspiring a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts. For more information, http://www.parks4kids.info/
The Outdoor Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor leaders and enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, youth engagement and community grant-making, the Foundation works with young leaders and partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In just five years, the Foundation has invested $4 million into 500 not-for-profit and college programs that have connected 200,00 young people to the outdoors. Importantly, 90¢ of every dollar goes directly into this critical work. Visit outdoorfoundation.org for more information.
Outdoor Industry Association®
Based in Boulder, CO, with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA unites and serves over 1200 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business, outdoor market & consumer insights, industry trends and youth engagement. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.