20 New Outdoor Grantees Are Geared Up to Get Kids Outside

A youth surfs a river wave while smiling
Photo Courtesy of The Watersmith Guild

Since 2021, NRF has welcomed five cohorts of community organizations into our Outdoor Grants program with support from Tom’s of Maine and its Get Into Nature initiative. Now, we’re excited to announce a sixth grantee cohort as part of the program. Across all six cohorts we’ve invested almost $2.5 million into 80 community organizations across the United States. This kind of investment is made possible through our collaboration with Tom’s of Maine, and our support goes beyond dollars. We also offer grantees evaluation support from top researchers in the field, facilitated peer leadership circles, networking opportunities, and professional development workshops.

Two adolescent boys sit in a tent, one looking at the camera and one looking into the woods
Photo courtesy of CultureSeed

The newest cohort includes 20 community-based organizations that support youth and their families in getting outside, connecting with nature, trying new things, and fostering positive mental health. Grantees achieve these goals in ways that fit the needs and identities of their specific communities including multi-year mentorship programs, overnight trips in the backcountry, fishing, environmental justice engagement, and adventure snow sports. There are so many ways for kids to grow their connections with nature and enjoy being outside!

A young woman sits in a boat holding a paddle and looks back at the camera smiling
Photo courtesy of Explore Austin

While grantees offer a range of services to the communities they serve, all 20 organizations work to create opportunities for youth with marginalized identities and backgrounds to engage in outdoor education and recreation. This includes low-income youth from both urban and rural communities, BIPOC and immigrant youth, girls and non-binary youth, and LGBTQ+ youth. As part of this initiative, NRF has particularly sought to support organizations that serve youth of color. Across all cohorts, 84% of funded programs are specifically designed to serve youth of color and almost 70% of organizations are led by people of color.

A child lays on a surf board on the sand, practicing paddling
Photo courtesy of Laru Beya Collective

Access to nature and the outdoors has been structurally exclusive for far too long. NRF is excited to be working with organizations that are taking on the difficult but essential task of removing barriers to meaningful outdoor experiences for the next generation. We’re delighted to partner with this new cohort of grantees and to support their work of getting more kids outside.

Three people wearing snow gear look into the camera and smile
Photo courtesy of Mountain Dreamers