The North Face Explore Fund Awards $500,000 to Nonprofits Connecting People to the Outdoors

In honor of the National Park Service’s Centennial Celebration, The
North Face awarded more than $250,000 of its total grant funding to
organizations serving in national parks and federally managed lands

ALAMEDA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The North Face today announced the winners of the 2016 Explore Fund
grant-giving program, recognizing 45 nonprofit organizations that are
working in powerful and creative ways to encourage participants to
experience outdoor activities and develop an enduring appreciation of
the outdoors.

To celebrate the National Park Service Centennial, The North Face, in
collaboration with the National Park Foundation, gave special
consideration to organizations that activate their programs in national
parks and federally managed lands with the goal of encouraging
organizations to bring people to play, learn, serve and work in these
spaces.

“We are thankful for The North Face’s support of our shared goal of
preparing the next generation of outdoor stewards and enthusiasts,” said
Sally Jewell, Secretary for the U.S. Department of the Interior. “For
three years now, they have partnered with the Department of the Interior
and invested in our efforts to provide more opportunities for young
people to play, learn, serve and work outdoors.”

“From quiet reflection, to team building activities, to learning new job
skills, our national parks and public lands are incredible settings for
an infinite spectrum of experiences,” said Will Shafroth, president of
the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national
parks. “Thanks to The North Face’s support, people will discover how
these treasured places already are and can become even more interwoven
into their individual lives and communities.”

Every program awarded is working in unique ways to encourage outdoor
participation. Organizations from this year’s grantees include:

  • Mountain
    Park Environmental Center (MPEC)
    : MPEC, in partnership
    with the Pueblo Rape Crisis Services, manages a three part outdoor
    adventure series for female survivors of sexual violence. The program
    aims to use nature as a source of strength and healing, to encourage
    positive self-esteem, feelings of community, connectedness and a new
    sense of empowerment.
  • Paradox
    Sports
    Paradox Sports works to identify, foster
    and grow communities of adaptive climbing and mountaineering athletes
    across the country. The grant from The North Face will specifically
    support the organization’s Yosemite National Park Experience, which
    brings veterans, as well as non-veterans with disabilities, together
    for a week of climbing in the national park. Funding will also support
    the Joshua Tree National Park Experience, which is a first of its kind
    program that teaches adaptive climbers the technical skills they need
    to increase their independence as climbers.
  • Sacred
    Rok
    Sacred Rok leads day and overnight trips in
    Yosemite for low income, incarcerated, and foster youth ages 7 – 21.
    Participants spend time nature camping, hiking, rock climbing,
    learning trail building basics, and environmental stewardship
    principals. These trips help youth feel comfortable in nature in
    addition to building self-confidence and inspiring respect for the
    environment.
  • City
    Kids Wilderness Project
    : City Kids is focused on
    addressing the lack of participation, access and connection to the
    outdoors for under-resourced youth in Washington, D.C., and
    translating outdoor and adventure experiences into long-term success.
    The program provides after school, weekend and summer outdoor
    adventure programming, including backpacking, canoeing, and
    backcountry hiking, as well as job training and college preparation
    programming.

“Encouraging people to experience and enjoy the outdoors has been our
mission at The North Face since we were founded 50 years ago,” said Ann
Krcik, senior director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “We are
proud to support these outstanding programs that expose participants to
the beauty and joy of the outdoors. Through these Explore Fund grants,
we are building a community of outdoor explorers and inspiring people to
love and protect the places where we play.”

All applications were evaluated based on the projected impact, clarity
of the proposal, and alignment to the spirit of adventure and
exploration. The Explore Fund reviews grants by individual merits and as
part of a balanced portfolio that includes factors such as geography,
type of program, target audiences, and more.

As part of its mission to start a global movement of outdoor
exploration, The North Face introduced the Explore Fund (www.explorefund.org)
in 2010 and the program has since provided more than $2.2 million in
grants to organizations committed to inspiring people to explore the
outdoors and care for the environment.

About The North Face®

The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1966 with
the goal of preparing outdoor athletes for the rigors of their next
adventure. Today we are the world’s leading outdoor brand, creating
athlete-tested, expedition-proven products that help people explore and
test the limits of human potential. We protect our outdoor playgrounds
and minimize our impact on the planet through programs that encourage
sustainability. The North Face products are available at premium and
specialty retail sporting goods stores globally and we are headquartered
in California on a LEED Platinum-certified campus. For more information,
please visit www.thenorthface.com.

About the National Park Foundation

The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s
national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park
Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation
raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of
national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts,
CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes,
vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of
park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th
anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for
America’s National Parks, a $350 million comprehensive fundraising
campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national
treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of
the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.

Contacts

The North Face
Pamela Bennett Ajello, 510-748-2742
pamela_ajello@vfc.com