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The North Face today announced the opening of the second cycle of the 2012 Explore Fund™ grant-giving program, which will provide $140,000 in micro-grants of up to $2,500 to support non-profit organizations that are connecting youth to the outdoors.
“If you can get kids to love the outdoors, they will grow up to care about their natural world, protecting and conserving the wild places that many of us know as our playgrounds,” said Ann Krcik, director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “Through programs like the Explore Fund, we’re able to empower organizations that are inspiring the next generation of outdoor explorers and conservationists.”
Through the Explore Fund grantees like Sacred Rok, The North Face has helped to reach more than 200,000 of America’s youth an opportunity to explore the outdoors. Sacred Rok, a 2012 Cycle 1 Explore Fund grant recipient based in Yosemite, California supports youth in nature through camping trips and outdoor education, helping youth to learn to respect nature and themselves.
“Through the Explore Fund, we were able to meet a commitment I made to a middle school teacher to bring up a group of her students who had never been to Yosemite,” said Ron Kauk of Sacred Rok. “A seed for this was planted when I showed my movie, Return to Balance: A Climber’s Journey to the students, and the teacher was stoked to bring her students. But due to budget cuts in the schools, they couldn’t pull it off. The Explore Fund allowed us to get past this obstacle, and bring them up anyway.”
During the second Explore Fund cycle, grants will be awarded to organizations with activities geared toward fall and winter activities based on three different focus areas: access to front and back country recreation, education for personal and environmental health, and creating a connection to nature that will empower the future leaders of tomorrow.
Since launching in 2010, The North Face has donated more than $765,000 to over 200 non-profit organizations as part of the company’s mission to inspire a global movement of Outdoor Exploration ultimately leading to greater support and protection of our natural playgrounds. With this second round of micro-grants awarded, a total of $265,000 will be awarded to non-profits through the Explore Fund by the end of the year.
Applications for Explore Fund 2012 Fall/Winter cycle are now being accepted online through Oct. 8, 2012. The most funded projects will be announced on Dec. 7, 2012. For more details, grantee highlights and ongoing updates, please visit www.explorefund.org