Home »News» Big City Mountaineers Receives $ 25,000 Grant, Works For Outdoor Justice
Big City Mountaineers Celebrates 3 Decades of Program to Bring Young People Outside. And this celebration gets even sweeter with the new scholarship funding.
Big City Mountaineers (BCM) is a non-profit organization that offers and guides experiences that have been bringing young people out into the open for more than 30 years. In June, it also announced its 2021 summer program – redefined, revitalized and reopened for the 2021 season.
But even more important news for the outdoor organization came today when it received a $ 25,000 grant from the VF Foundation to help Big City Mountaineers break down barriers to outdoor access.
The organization will use the funds to continue “creating safe and supportive environments for youth to develop teamwork, increased self-esteem, and a cultural and historical understanding of outdoor spaces,” the press release said. All of this in addition to expanding virtual programming.
“We are proud to be a fellow of the VF Foundation, which embodies what we believe in,” said David Taus, Executive Director of BCM.
The VF Foundation is the philanthropic arm of VF Corporation, which owns brands such as The North Face and Altra. The VF Foundation supports organizations with a focus on nature conservation, administration, education and human resource development as well as efforts related to inclusion, justice and diversity. Accordingly Impact report of the VF Foundation, it granted grants to over 70 organizations in 2020.
We spoke to Megan Aranow, Director of External Relations at Big City Mountaineers, to learn more about the organization and what justice in nature looks like for the next generation.
Mountain Climbers in Big Cities: What They Do
(Photo / city climber)
For the past 30 years, BCM has led the conversation about DEI outdoors and youth mental health. Through free, fully equipped, and professionally guided expeditions, BCM works to empower youth from marginalized communities to spend time outdoors, develop skills, and more.
Aside from outdoor skills and exposure, Big City Mountaineers programs are all about one thing: wellbeing – be it mental, physical, or social.
“There is this spectrum of advantages,” says Aranow. “We are focused on providing opportunities for youth and college students to explore these benefits, most of which have never seen them before. Nature is a crucial resource for well-being and happiness. “
Justice and Inequality in Outdoor Spaces
Big City Mountaineers’ work is at the intersection of justice and outdoor recreation. That means realizing the inequality that already exists outdoors, even with activities as simple as hiking or camping.
For the organization, this means constantly thinking about access. Where are the students in need and how can BCM reach them? What is best for the individual student and the group? Are there youth centers in BCM’s program cities that the organization can work with to create even more access?
In 2018-2019, BCM provided 800-1,000 youth experiences. “With the pandemic year, the program numbers have been scaled back a bit, but we are still aiming to bring almost 600 young people to the area,” Aranow said at the beginning of the summer.
And in many cases, those days in the field are simple day trips that provide transportation, access, education, equipment, and even meals. “We have also tried to offer our youth center partners more flexibility – day trips, overnight stays or expeditions lasting several days. and [figuring out] what is most relevant right now. “
(Photo / city climber)
2021 programming and how you can show support
“Our programming for 2021 comes at a critical time for many of the students attending BCM, given the incredible challenges COVID-19 has brought into their lives and communities,” the organization said. “We are responding to the need for equitable access to outdoor resources that has never been more urgent.”
The Big City Mountaineers 2021 program is available to teenagers in the United States in the following metropolitan areas: Denver, Seattle, Boston, Miami, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon.
If you want to support BCM financially, you can donate online.
Big City Mountaineers Receives $ 25,000 Grant, Works For Outdoor Justice
Big City Mountaineers celebrates a decade-long program that helps bring teens outside. His $ 25,000 grant is helping reach more young people in the United States. Continue reading…