The North Face has awarded the second round of Explore Fund grants for 2011. By the numbers this cycle, The North Face granted over $125,000 to 51 projects reaching more than 30,000 children across the nation. Since the Explore Fund began in 2010 the program has provided more than half a million dollars in grants to organizations that get youth outdoors.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced its final research plan on hydraulic fracturing. The EPA has been requested by Congress to better understand the potential impacts on drinking water from fracturing.
Non-profit program, Gear to Grow has been “Calling All Poles” across the U.S. since early October. The 60 day campaign aims to collect gently used or surplus poles from retailers, manufacturers and the general public. These poles will be used to help Gear to Grow outfit more than 70 of its beneficiary groups with full tent sets.
Gear to Grow has connected with retailers across the country to serve as collection sites for the tent pole drive. Participants can drop off poles at sites such as, Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder, Colorado, Tahoe Mountain Sports in Kings Beach, California or any of the seven Great Outdoor Provision Company locations in North Carolina.
The North Face has launched a 14-city KNOW Boundaries Snow Safety Tour, pairing athletes including, Ian McIntosh, Dana Flahr, Lucas Debari and Conrad Anker with The North Face and REI stores countrywide. The tour will provide information for safe backcountry travel, the knowledge, skills and training required.
The Conservation Alliance sent grants totaling $550,000 to 18 organizations working to protect wild places throughout North America. The donations marked the Alliance’s second funding disbursal for 2011, and brought the year’s funding total to a milestone $1.05 million. Since the organization’s founding in 1989, the Alliance has contributed more than $9.8 million to this cause.
Mast General Store, Merrell Footwear and MANNA FoodBank are addressing a pressing need in Western North Carolina by providing weekend food to at-risk children in Asheville. For each pair of Merrell shoes purchased at Mast Store October 1 through 16 Merrell will fill a pack with food to feed a child for a weekend.
The outdoor industry is standing together yet again to protect its open spaces, this time to defend a proposed wilderness area surrounding Desolation Canyon, Utah. With the support of the Outdoor Industry Association, over 30 national companies signed an open letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to voice their opposition to the Gasco Natural Gas Development Project. The project would authorize more than 125 new well pads in the Desolation Canyon proposed wilderness, having a potentially devastating effect on the area if approved by the Bureau of Land Management.
Advocacy organization The Access Fund has awarded more than $20,000 as part of its Climbing Preservation Grant program. The grants are given to local activist groups dedicated to conserving climbing environments.
For the second straight year, nonprofit First Descents will receive all funds raised at the EPIC Foundation's annual '80s Ski Party, taking place October 21 at Denver's Mile High Station. Last year's donations exceeded $30,000, allowing First Descents to provide outdoor adventures for ten young adults battling cancer. Funds provided by events like the Ski Party have helped First Descents to triple its number of programs in the last year.
Tickets for the party are $45 if purchased in advance, or $50 at the door. More information is available at 80skiparty.com.