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Press Releases

KEEN Forges New Partnership with The Wilderness Society and 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

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KEEN Utility

PORTLAND, Ore. (July 7, 2015) – KEEN, maker of original hybrid footwear, is solidifying its promise to building stronger communities and a healthier planet by partnering with The Wilderness Society (TWS) and 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) to help preserve America’s public lands and build the future of America’s public land stewards. KEEN Utility is proud to support this new partnership. 

“The men and women in the skilled trades have helped build this country from the ground up,” said Chris Heffernan, KEEN Utility General Manager. “At KEEN Utility we work tirelessly to create the next generation of work boots. To be able to support this next generation of land stewards through this partnership is an incredible privilege.”

KEEN Utility funds will support TWS and 21CSC efforts through the implementation of “Project Build,” a program that supports the hard work of America’s conservation corps, and builds upon the legacy of dedication to protecting our treasured landscapes through citizen stewardship. In addition to funds, 300 corps members have been outfitted in KEEN Utility work boots. Project Build will take place in cities across the U.S. including Los Angeles, Portland, Denver, and New York with projects that range from urban farm construction in former housing projects to building miles of trail in our country’s wilderness.


“KEEN’s goal of ‘inspiring responsible outdoor participation, and land and water conservation’ is perfectly in line with the goals of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps and syncs seamlessly with the outcomes of every conservation corps experience,” said Eugenie Bostrom, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Conservation Legacy. “Since the inception of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930’s, the corps experience has been fundamental to the active preservation of the American outdoors, but especially to instilling a sense of stewardship in those involved. The Partnership for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps is emboldened by KEEN’s leadership and support in this area and we are so excited to work with the Wilderness Society again to make Project Build come to life.”

Through this partnership, KEEN expects to help protect up to 500,000 acres of land, 100 miles of rivers, and dedicate roughly 1,000 hours of volunteer time from KEEN employees. Together, KEEN, TWS, and 21CSC will continue to build a life-long connection to the outdoors for the next generation of public lands conservancy, and ultimately inspire more young Americans to actively work on and care for the outdoors.

“The Wilderness Society is honored and thrilled to be part of the Project Build partnership with KEEN Utility and 21CSC. Building the next generation of stewards for the outdoors is critical to the future of our wild public lands. KEEN is a forward-thinking company that understands the importance of putting boots on the ground and investing in young stewards who are restoring the land and protecting America’s wild places.” – Michael Carroll, Senior National Partnership Director at The Wilderness Society

For more, please visit KEEN’s Blog:

About KEEN

Inspired by a love of the outdoors, KEEN Inc., manufacturer of hybrid outdoor and casual products, including footwear, clothing, and accessories, is dedicated to creating quality products that support the lifestyles and outdoor adventures of active people around the world. KEEN products can be found online and through more than 5,000 retail locations in more than 60 countries, as well as in KEEN Garage retail stores in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The company operations and culture reflect a stand-out commitment to building a strong community and a healthier planet so that all can create, play, and care. Learn more at:

The Wilderness Society

The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 700,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.

21st Century Conservation Service Corps

The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) is a bold national effort to put thousands of young American’s and veterans to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s great outdoors and cultural and community resources. 21CSC participants work in cities and on public lands, on programs that range from tree planting and trail building to historic preservation, wildland firefighting and disaster response. The program is operated through a public-private partnership between government, industry, non-profit and community organizations, working together to foster the next generation of community leaders and resource stewards.

Media Contact | Keith Cozzens | Verde Brand Communications | | (970) 259-3555 ext. 122