REI Co-op is donating $160,000 to 14 nonprofit organizations in Southern California — including $20,000 to the Friends of the Los Angeles River — as part of their continued efforts to be a steward to outdoor spaces and "help people experience the transformational power of nature," the REI press release said.
These donations are part of the co-op's annual giving, which adds up to more than $7.7 million donated to outdoor nonprofits in the United States this year, the press release said.
"At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived, and the entire Los Angeles community benefits from easy access to outdoor spaces," said Scott Ammons, market manager for REI. "The work of our nonprofit partners is becoming even more important, as these areas are increasingly impacted by urban development."
REI is an organization that believes a life outdoors is a life well-lived. The REI Co-op is working with nonprofit partners to reduce barriers to access the outdoors, and work to preserve outdoor places for future generations, the press release said.
REI is supporting these Southern California nonprofit organizations in 2019:
- Amigos de Los Rios: works to protect and restore open space in the urban environment by creating a green infrastructure network of parks and trails throughout the Los Angeles Basin to connect the Mountains to the Sea. ($7,500)
- Audubon California (Audubon Center at Debs Park) uses conservation, advocacy, community involvement, and an active network of more than 50,000 members and 48 affiliated California chapters to bring people together to appreciate, enjoy and protect birds and nature. ($12,500)
- California State Parks Foundation is a member-supported nonprofit working to protect, improve and advocate for all of California's state parks. ($10,000)
- Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association is an all-volunteer organization preserving open space, maintaining public access to public lands, and creating more trail opportunities for all to enjoy. ($12,500)
- Crystal Cove Conservancy protects Crystal Cove State Park through a unique social enterprise model in partnership with California State Parks that generates revenue for park improvements, maintenance, education and conservation initiatives. ($10,000)
- Friends of the Los Angeles River works to ensure a publicly accessible and ecologically sustainable Los Angeles River by inspiring river stewardship through community engagement, education, advocacy, and thought leadership. ($20,000)
- Laguna Canyon Foundation is an organization working to preserve, protect, enhance and promote the 20,000-acre South Coast Wilderness and surrounding areas. ($7,500)
- Los Angeles Conservation Corps is an environmentally-focused youth development organization that provides work projects to improve the quality of life for communities and protect the environment for future generations. ($10,000)
- National Parks Conservation Association works on the ground, in the courtroom, and on Capitol Hill, to protect and preserve America's national parks for present and future generations. ($5,000 for efforts in Los Angeles)
- Outward Bound Adventures is dedicated to engaging underserved, overlooked and avoided youth in meaningful and relevant ecological studies, outdoor career education, and wilderness travel. ($10,000)
- Santa Catalina Island Conservancy is one of the oldest private land trusts in Southern California and protects 88 percent of Catalina Island, including more than 62 miles of unspoiled beaches and secluded coves. ($9,000)
- Santa Monica Mountains Fund raises funds to support the National Park Service and the California State Parks to provide resource protection, wildlife preservation and public enjoyment of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. ($19,750)
- Southern California Mountains Foundation raises money, organizes volunteer resources, and creates and manages programs focused on health, stewardship and sustainability of the Southern California mountains and urban "forests." ($5,000)
- Friends of Joshua Tree is an organization that advocates, communicates, and encourages ethical and environmentally sound climbing practices, and works to shape park policy on climbing and climbing-related issues to preserve the historical tradition of climbing in Joshua Tree National Park. ($21,250)
"The outdoors is everything to our community. It's where family and friends can spend time together, talk, play and relax. For our community, our local parks are a gateway into nature where we can experience the joys of local wildlife," Marcos Trinidad from the Audubon Center at Debs Park said. "This partnership with REI is particularly valuable because it engages an audience that has been historically underserved and ignored by the outdoor recreation and conservation communities. This investment highlights the desire for our community to connect to our land, open spaces and waterways."
Earlier this year, REI asked members in Los Angeles for help to decide which local nonprofits and outdoor spaces to invest in earlier this year. REI members helped decide how to allocate $50,000 to local nonprofits as part of the Loving Our Local Outdoors initiative.
"As an outdoor co-op, our members are at the heart of what we do, and we are always looking for ways to get them more involved in our philanthropy," said Kristen Ragain, REI philanthropy and community partnerships manager. "Through Loving Our Local Outdoors, our members acted as local experts by directing a portion of our investment to places that are important to Los Angeles."
For more information on REI's philanthropy efforts visit the REI website.