The North Face Explore Fund Awards $125,000 in Grants

2011 Explore Fund Kicks Off First Round Funding to 52 Non-Profit Projects Across the Country
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SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA – June 8, 2011 – On the heels of naming June as National Camping Month for the third year in a row, The North Face today announced it awarded $125,000 in Explore Fund™ Grants to 52 projects that will affect more than 30,000 young people across the nation. The North Face introduced the Explore Fund (www.explorefund.org), a grant-giving program supporting non-profit organizations that get youth outdoors, in 2010 as part of the company's mission to encourage an active healthy lifestyle and protection of our natural landscapes by creating a stronger connection with the outdoors. These grantees are part of the first cycle of the 2011 The North Face Explore Fund.

In recent years, the outdoor industry has witnessed a decline in youth outdoor participation and has made strides to work against the trend. Studies commissioned by the Outdoor Foundation have shown that not only does outdoor participation decline with age, but children from low income, urban communities are less likely to get outdoors regularly. This year, more than 60 percent of Explore Fund grants were awarded to organizations focusing on increasing diversity in outdoor participation totaling $78,000.

“First-hand experience is essential to ignite a passion for the outdoors, and that shouldn't be limited by gender, race or income level,” said Ann Krcik, director of outdoor participation at The North Face. “At The North Face, we're dedicated to providing everyone with the access to our natural playgrounds and the resources they need to get outside.”

Funds were granted to organizations throughout the U.S. that work to break down barriers to getting youth outdoors within three focus areas:
$58,000 Access to front and back country recreation
$22, 000Education for personal and environmental health
$45, 000Connection to nature that will empower the future leaders of tomorrow

The North Face has committed to granting an additional $125,000 to non-profit organizations in 2011 through the Explore Fund with applications opening September 1st. Grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded to organizations that create connections of children to nature, increase access to both front and backcountry recreation, and provide education for both personal and environmental health. For more details, grantee highlights and ongoing updates, please visit www.planetexplore.com/explorefund.

About The North Face®
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company's products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.

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