Outdoor Foundation Announces St. Louis as New Thrive Outside Community

The Thrive Outside Initiative Empowers St. Louis to Make the Outdoors Accessible for All Through Partnership with River City Outdoors
By: Outdoor Foundation
ST. LOUIS - May 28, 2021 - PRLog -- Outdoor Foundation, the organization dedicated to reversing the trend of decreased outdoor participation, today announced its second cohort of Thrive Outside communities. St. Louis was one of four communities named along with the Twin Cities region, Minnesota; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and the state of Maine.

The Thrive Outside St. Louis Community will be led by River City Outdoors, a local nonprofit working to build a vibrant outdoor culture and brand in the Greater St. Louis region by connecting the community to its outdoor assets.

River City Outdoors will work directly with the Outdoor Foundation's Thrive Outside Initiative, which awards multi-year, capacity-building grants to diverse communities to build and strengthen networks that provide children and families with repeat and reinforcing experiences in the outdoors. This community-led initiative is built with trusted local and national partners and is supported by three years of funding.

River City Outdoors is activating an extensive network of community stakeholders dedicated to making outdoor recreational opportunities more accessible and equitable for their region. Their work is focused on five key initiatives:
  • Rivertime
  • Pedal Programs
  • Outdoor Recreation Adventure Clubs and Youth Leadership Program
  • Community Organization Accelerator
  • City Parks and Neighborhoods
"The St. Louis region offers some of the most unique natural spaces and inspiring recreational opportunities anywhere. So, why hasn't every kid in our community kayaked past the Gateway Arch on the Mississippi River or pedaled a bike along the Katy Trail? Through River City Outdoors, we are activating an inclusive network of community partners that shatters barriers to access and empowers all St. Louisans to experience the transformative power of nature in our own backyard," said Rachel Bartels, River City Outdoors director.

"The Thrive Outside Initiative is working to create a more inclusive and accessible outdoor experience for all," said Stephanie Maez, Outdoor Foundation executive director. "We are thrilled to expand our grants and programming into four additional communities this year and inspire kids and families to experience the powerful transformative benefits of connecting with nature on a regular basis, particularly among youth in diverse communities."

The Thrive Outside Communities were chosen by the Outdoor Foundation Board of Directors, based on written applications, virtual site visits, in-person interviews and third-party consultant research. Each Thrive Outside Community grant requires the recipient community to provide a 1-to-1 funding match in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the network. One backbone organization in each community will manage the grant and facilitate the work of the network partners.

Visit rivercityoutdoors.org for more information.

Visit outdoorfoundation.org for more information.

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