Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund Surpasses $2 Million

The Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund (YOLF) realized a 140 percent funding increase since 2006 for a total of $2 million to support exemplary outdoor programs that engage youth in recreational activities and environmental stewardship.
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Dennis Madsen

Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund Surpasses $2 Million

SALT LAKE CITY – Unplugging kids from trilling computer games, Instant Messaging and cell phones and plugging them into the sights and sounds of an outdoor experience is what a dozen local and regional programs will do this year for the young people around the U.S. with $151,000 in funding from the Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund (YOLF). YOLF realized a 140 percent funding increase since 2006 for a total of $2 million to support exemplary outdoor programs that engage youth in recreational activities and environmental stewardship.

"These 12 organizations share our mission in creating positive experiences for the individual health of the kids they serve,” said Bob Shearer, VF Corporation Chief Financial Officer and YOLF board member. “They also teach kids why we all need to protect the health of our environment for future generations.”

“Companies throughout the outdoor industry have joined our mission to share the outdoors with our youth and have invested in bold and inspiring ways," said Dennis Madsen, founder and president of YOLF "We've clearly identified a need and tapped into a strong desire to get more young people active, outdoors and experiencing nature.” Leading companies in the outdoor industry who have provided significant financial support include REI, Columbia Sportswear, prAna, WL Gore, Youngone Corporation, Black Diamond, KEEN Footwear, and VF Corporation (the parent company of The North Face and JanSport).

Today the YOLF advisory board approved grants for 12 youth outreach programs working in communities across the U.S. dedicated to providing young people with positive, fun outdoor recreation experiences:

Appalachian Mountain Club:
Youth Opportunities Program
Boston, Mass.

Bay Area Wilderness Training:
Wilderness Leadership Training
San Francisco, Calif.

Chattahoochee Nature Center:
Paddle Georgia
Roswell, Ga.

Colorado Mountain Club:
Education Program
Golden, Colo.

Eden Mill Nature Center:
Kids in Kayaks Program
Pylesville, Md.

Outdoor Outreach:
Outdoor Programs
San Diego, Calif.

Outward Bound Adventures:
Get Out And Learn (GOAL) Program
Pasadena, Calif.

Passages Northwest: Girls Wilderness and Girls Rock! Programs
Seattle, Wash.

Rocking the Boat:
Boatbuilding & Bronx River On-Water Programs
Bronx, N.Y.

Seattle Inner City Outings:
Outdoor Programs
Seattle, Wash.

Trips for Kids – Fox Valley:
Bicycle Outings Program
South Elgin, Ill.

Trips for Kids – Metro DC:
Youth Nature & Biking Programs
Springfield, Va.

This latest round of funding will add significant resources to introduce the outdoors and recreation to more young people. Last year 11,200 youth benefited from outdoor recreation programs supported by YOLF. "As more individuals and companies join us in our work, the number of kids we will get outdoors will multiply, and the impact we will have will be our legacy," Madsen said.

YOLF will be reviewing additional proposals and announcing another group of grantees at the 2007 Summer Outdoor Retailer Show in August.

The fund is being administered through the Seattle Foundation (, a highly respected and professionally managed community foundation. Grant making is overseen by the Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund advisory board.

About YOLF
YOLF was created in 2005 with the vision to engage young people in outdoor recreation while at the same time preparing them to be our future outdoor advocates. To learn more about the foundation and the programs it supports, visit the website at To add your support to YOLF, contact Dennis Madsen by e-mail at or call 206.713.1821.