GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – The Colorado Outdoor Equity Grant Program (OEGP) is awarding $1.3 million in outdoor equity grants to organizations that expand access to the Colorado outdoors for traditionally excluded youth . From August 22, 2022 to September 30, 2022, these organizations can apply for financial support.
Colorado is well known for its outdoor recreation opportunities, but many Colorado communities still face barriers to equitable access to the outdoors. The OEGP was signed into law by Governor Polis last year and provides resources to youth and underserved communities to help increase opportunities for environmental learning, education, public health and outdoor recreation.
“Colorado Parks and Wildlife is proud to announce the launch of the second round of grant applications,” said CPW Acting Director Heather Dugan. “Through the Outdoor Equity Grant program, we can begin to reduce the barriers that prevent all Coloradans from experiencing Colorado state parks and public lands and build an inclusive outdoor community for all.”
Organizations such as nonprofits, government entities, school districts, for-profit organizations, and federally recognized tribes that have not yet received OEGP funding can apply for up to $150,000 this grant cycle.
“The Outdoor Equity Grant program was created by and for communities that have historically faced barriers to participating in the year-round recreational activities our beautiful state offers,” said Brayhan Reveles, Board Member of administration of the OEGP. “My personal connection to the natural world is so important to me, however, the ways traditionally excluded communities connect with the outdoors are sometimes overlooked. Recreating outdoors doesn’t mean you train for endurance races. hundred miles or multi-day backcountry trips. It can be as simple as bird watching or taking a walk with a friend outdoors. Our goal is to fund organizations and programs that honor the many ways people connect to the land, and invite all to apply.
The EOGP Board of Directors is made up of people with experience in recreation and conservation who come from the communities served by the grant program.
The Board will accept grant proposals from organizations that will support outdoor activities for Colorado youth, demonstrate cultural competence in working with an OEGP target population, demonstrate a commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, or who will represent geographic diversity. of the state of Colorado.
The OEGP Board hopes to offer grants to those who have not been able to apply to grant programs before due to organizational barriers, and hopes to encourage organizations of all sizes and with diverse missions to apply. The board will host two virtual meetings to answer questions about the grants on Thursday, September 8 at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. More information on the grant as well as links for questions and answers to be found on the OEGP website.
“We are excited to announce the next round of funding for the Colorado Outdoor Equity Grant Program. The first round received tremendous interest from a wide variety of organizations and we hope our next round can reach even more organizations working to help increase youth access to the outdoors in Colorado.” said Dan Gibbs, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “We encourage organizations to attend the Q&A sessions and apply for grants. The Colorado outdoors is for everyone, and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources is committed to supporting a welcoming, inclusive, and accessible environment for all visitors to our public lands.
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