REI-funded grant to send local youth kayaking this summer


A $44,000 grant funded by Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) will send local youth kayaking this summer as part of a broader effort to connect underserved communities to water sports and recreation activities.

Such activities “have been traditionally out of reach for many communities across West Contra Costa County,” said Morgan Valdivieso, a spokesperson for Groundwork Richmond, the grant recipient.

This summer, after conducting a wet-run safety check on its new fleet of sea kayaks at Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, groups of local youth will be taken on a series of camping and kayaking trips. The trips will occur at Point Reyes National Seashore, with one occurring Labor Day weekend in conjunction with the 35th Annual Sand Sculpture Contest.

The program is a partnership between the National Park Service, REI and Groundwork USA to raise awareness about water-based recreation and provide access to underserved populations across the U.S.. The initiative is also serving Groundwork communities in Hudson Valley (Yonkers, NY); Somerville, MA; Denver, CO; Richmond, VA & Cincinnati, OH.

The Groundwork Richmond team was grateful to receive the REI grant.

“Taking an important first step with this award, Groundwork will help to remedy the historic absence of diverse people enjoying various outdoor recreation activities,” according to a statement from the nonprofit.

This is the second recent grant Groundwork Richmond has received for the purpose of connecting youth to outdoor activities. In May, it was announced the nonprofit received a grant to bolster efforts on its Green Team, which connects youth with activities in nature, opportunities to beautify their communities and the environment, education on STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, art and math), pre-employment training and career exposure.



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