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Outdoor Foundation Launches Campaign to Get Every Kid in a Park, with Support from The San Diego Foundation

September 20, 2016 – San Diego, CA – The Outdoor Foundation, philanthropic arm of the Outdoor Industry Association, today announced the Parks4Kids campaign to help youth from throughout San Diego County get outdoors and into nature. With grant support from The San Diego Foundation, the program leverages a first-of-its-kind online fundraising platform, Parks4Kids, that will enable local schools and nonprofit organizations to develop youth environmental projects for community members to support. Individuals interested in the campaign should visit the San Diego Parks4Kids website at sandiego.parks4kids.info.

The program will launch with a special ‘double your impact week’, starting on Public Lands Day, September 24 and running through October 1. Donations made through the online platform to any of the projects will be matched up to $1,000 per project, for a total of $15,000. In addition to encouraging the public to get involved, the program partners will work with companies in the outdoor industry, and other sectors, to drive support.

In commemoration of the National Park Centennial, Parks4Kids aims to inspire a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts and stewards. This grassroots-driven program will engage the community in a collective effort to fund meaningful park experiences for grade school students across San Diego County. The campaign supports the recently-launched White House ‘Every Kid in a Park’ initiative, which aims to provide an opportunity for every 4th grade student in the country to visit a National Park or one of 2,000 federally managed lands and waters nationwide.

Nationally, school trips can cost an average of only $10 to cover transportation costs. However, many schools don’t have the financial resources to give students a valuable park experience. Nationwide, the Parks4Kids program has funded over 50 local projects that will connect nearly 25,000 youth with the outdoors.

“The Outdoor Foundation is grateful to The San Diego Foundation for its tremendous support and leadership. With more than 1,400 parks and a strong network of nonprofits, the San Diego region is a natural fit for us to extend our national campaign and help more youth access the outdoors,” said Christine

Fanning, Executive Director of the Outdoor Foundation. “We hope that individuals and organizations will support this exciting program and help inspire a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts and stewards.”

“The San Diego region is rich with natural parks and outdoor space, but not all communities have the same opportunities to explore and experience these cherished resources,” noted Nicola Hedge, Director of Environmental Initiatives at The San Diego Foundation. “Through this region-wide philanthropic effort, any resident can help increase access for youth who want to explore and protect nature, but don’t have the means to do so.”

To launch the pilot program, 15 local partner projects were submitted and have a combined fundraising goal of $62,150, which could engage 4,834 youth in outdoor activities throughout the San Diego region. Projects range from connecting young people to their coastal environments to building new tree stewards to introducing students to neighborhood nature spaces.

“It is our hope that individuals, brands and business that call San Diego County home will support these important projects in our region,” said Steve Barker, founder of Eagle Creek and Outdoor Foundation Board Member. “Access to our parks and natural places is crucially important and something we all can help create by donating – any amount can make a big impact.”

The San Diego Foundation Opening the Outdoors program is committed to advancing community-driven efforts to engage youth in environmental programs and develop an interconnected network of natural areas, gathering places and trails across the county so that the outdoors is easily accessible from any San Diegan’s doorstep. The Parks4Kids campaign complements the Opening the Outdoors program by making outdoor experiences for youth possible and inspiring life-long opportunities that grow a vibrant quality of life for all San Diegans.

About The San Diego Foundation

The San Diego Foundation maximizes the impact of charitable giving to enact positive social change in our region. We mobilize resources to advance quality of life, increase social impact and champion civic engagement though effective, responsible and innovative philanthropy. We are your community foundation committed to arts & culture, civil society, education, environment, health and human services, and youth development to build equity and opportunity for all San Diegans. For more than 40 years, The Foundation and our donors have granted more than $995 million to grow a vibrant San Diego region. Visit our website and join us by opening a fund or contributing to an existing one, like the Fund for the Future Endowment which supports San Diego now and forever.

About the Outdoor Foundation

The Outdoor Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Outdoor Industry Association and dedicated to inspiring future generations of outdoor enthusiasts and stewards. Through participation 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 200,000 young people to the outdoors.

Contacts

Stasia Raines, Outdoor Foundation, 619-957-9891, sraines@outdoorfoundation.org
Justin Nunez, The San Diego Foundation, 619-235-2300, justin@sdfoundation.org

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