Together Outdoors Announces Recipients of Inclusive Micro-Grant Program to Promote Greater Equity in Outdoor Recreation

Together Outdoors, an initiative of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, announced the awardees of its Inclusive Micro-Grant Program grants totaling $70,000. This grant program is aimed at bolstering capacity for small and rural grassroots organizations that are key to creating a more inclusive and welcoming outdoor recreation environment for all.

Together Outdoors received nearly 300 applications in this second round of its grant program, which is triple the amount of applicants from the first round. After a thorough review, Together Outdoors selected eight finalists to receive funding awards ranging from $6,000 to $10,000. These projects serve many diverse communities from Alaska to Massachusetts and directly help expand opportunities for outdoor recreation activities–from better access for people with disabilities and youth cycling programs, to community economic development and nature therapy, to Native land/cultural history training and historical storytelling of Black Americans’ contributions to our national parks, and so much more.

The awardees are a direct reflection of the diverse fabric of the United States and the unique needs and challenges many communities face in order to enjoy outdoor recreation. This unique program, in addition to Together Outdoors’ overall mission, is made possible thanks to foundational support from THOR Industries. Thanks to continued support from THOR Industries and Winnebago Industries, this grant program will open another round of funding in late summer 2024. It is evident from the unprecedented volume of applications TO received that trust-based grant-making and a focus on grassroots organizations is a critically unmet need in the funding world. TO is grateful to these funders for their investment in our mission to connect all Americans to the benefits of time spent outdoors.

“We are thrilled and honored to celebrate the achievements of our newest awardees in the second round of our Inclusive Micro-Grant Program. Over the months we will be profiling each awardee and the incredible ways they are expanding outdoor access for all,” said Ambreen Tariq, Senior Program Director at Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and Together Outdoors Coalition Lead. “This initiative is more than just a grant program; it is an investment in America’s grassroots entrepreneurs and a testament to our belief that the outdoors should be a welcoming space for all—especially those who were historically prevented from fully enjoying the benefits of outdoor recreation. Micro-grants can have a profound impact on the daily lives of the people these organizations support, driving meaningful community, health, and environmental benefits. By funding these diverse projects across the country, we are not merely assisting organizations—we are investing in a future where equity in outdoor recreation is the norm. We are excited to see the innovative and meaningful ways these grants will be utilized to dismantle barriers and enhance access to the Great Outdoors.”

The 2024 Together Outdoors Inclusive Micro-Grant Program Awardees include:

Access on the Go, Davis, West Virginia: is dedicated to improving accessibility to outdoor spaces for people with disabilities across the Central Appalachian Region. This grant funding will support their project to increase accessibility and inclusivity along the Elk River Trail.

Angoon Alaska Youth Stewards, Admiralty Island National Monument, Alaska: uses hands-on learning through restoration and community stewardship projects to provide youth from rural Southeast Alaska with pathways to becoming leaders who contribute to the region’s cultural vibrancy, economic prosperity, and ecological resilience. This grant funding will support their first-ever in-person training including first aid, learning local history from Culture Bearers, and more.

Farmington Area Single Track (FAST), Farmington, New Mexico: is committed to empowering youth aged 2-18 through their youth cycling program, spanning from San Juan County to the Navajo Nation in northwest New Mexico. This grant funding will bolster general operations to reach and provide programming for 50 Navajo youth residing on or near the reservation where access to outdoor recreation is limited.

Huellas Latinas, Saint Paul, Minnesota: provides Spanish language programming and resources on outdoor activities and educational classes to teach outdoor recreation skills and improve Latinx communities’ access and engagement outdoors. This grant funding will support their newly created Outdoor Adventure program to provide camping activities, skill-building, and environmental care training over the summer season in local state parks.

Light of Loving Kindness, Chicago, Illinois: provides access to mental wellness tools and social-emotional skills through mindfulness solutions in nature. Through integrated health and wellness practices and Nature Rx, they provide outdoor recreational opportunities to youth, adults, and families from underserved and BIPOC communities through a lens of environmental justice and environmental stewardship. This grant funding will help them hire a part-time Marketing & Digital Media Coordinator to better promote these valuable programs for the local community.

Our Heritage Outside, National: is a project of the Bronze Collective that was created to elevate, celebrate, and share sidelined or often buried Black history in the National Park system—including spotlighting heroes, champions, and everyday Black Americans who contributed to the creation and maintenance of the 63 National Parks. This grant funding will help support their work through 2024 and prepare for 2026 historical commemorations for the 250th anniversary of the United States.

Black Men Hike, Los Angeles, California: promotes mental and physical health amongst Black men by bringing them together to enjoy the serenity of nature and the benefits of hiking. This grant funding will help support programmatic costs including emergency and survival training, and scouting stipends for their Hiking Ambassadors who lead up to 200 people per hike.

The Great Malden Outdoors, Malden, Massachusetts: is a for-profit and MA Certified Minority Owned Business aimed at getting all Malden residents outdoors and reducing barriers to entry by providing outdoor recreational programming and resources. This grant funding will support the creation of new programming, advertising, language translation services, and program management.

“To the Together Outdoors grant recipients: the journey of building a more inclusive and accessible outdoors starts with visionary leaders like you. Your initiatives aren’t just changing lives, they’re sparking a ripple effect of positive change. By harnessing the power of community and the outdoors, you’re empowering individuals, promoting well-being, and creating a more connected world,” stated THOR Vice President of Marketing, Renee Jones. “THOR is honored to stand alongside Together Outdoors in supporting your transformative work and we look forward to witnessing the lasting impact you will have.”

About the Together Outdoors Inclusive Micro-Grant Program: Recognizing the disparities in traditional grant funding, which often favors large, well-resourced organizations, Together Outdoors’ Inclusive Micro-Grant Program focuses on enhancing the capabilities of small-scale, community-based groups that serve diverse and underrepresented populations. While these organizations are instrumental in bridging the outdoor “adventure gap,” they largely cannot compete for conventional funding due to resource-intensive application and reporting requirements. In 2022, thanks to THOR Industries, Winnebago, and Airstream, the Together Outdoors Inclusive Micro-Grant Program distributed $54,000 across nine organizations. The grant program won a Bessie Award for Inclusion- driving positive change and supporting a variety of outdoor recreation-related programming, events, and leadership initiatives specifically benefiting communities of color, LGBTQIA+, and other intersecting groups.

The 2024 Inclusive Micro-Grant Program will continue the great support started in 2022 and is focused on two key areas:

Research + Resources: Financial backing for projects developing research and resources that facilitate inclusion outdoors. This includes the creation of educational toolkits, multimedia content, and translation services to ensure accessibility for all.

Activating Change Outdoors: Support for outdoor recreation programming, events, and leadership development initiatives specifically designed to empower communities of color, LGBTQIA+, individuals in underserved regions, people with disabilities, and other intersecting minority groups.

Together Outdoors awarded grassroots organizations that embody the above focus areas and share our vision for a diverse outdoor community to apply for the Inclusive Micro-Grant Program. Please stay tuned at over the next several months as we highlight the great and vital services these organizations provide.