GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – The Colorado Outdoor Equity Grants Program (OEGP) is awarding $1.3 million in outdoor equity grants to organizations expanding access to Colorado’s great outdoors for traditionally marginalized youth. From August 22, 2022 to September 30, 2022, these organizations can apply for financial support.
Colorado is known for its outdoor recreation opportunities, but many Colorado communities still face barriers to equal access to nature. Signed into law by Governor Polis last year, the OEGP provides resources for underserved youth and communities to help improve opportunities for environmental learning, education, public health and outdoor fun.
“Colorado Parks and Wildlife is proud to announce the start of the second round of grant applications,” said Heather Dugan, Acting Director of CPW. “Through the Outdoor Equity Grant Program, we can begin to break down the barriers that prevent all Coloradans from experiencing Colorado’s state parks and public lands and build an outdoor community that is inclusive for all.”
Organizations such as nonprofits, government agencies, school districts, for-profit and state-recognized tribes that have not previously received OEGP funding may apply for up to $150,000 during this eligibility period.
“The Outdoor Equity Grant Program was created by and for communities that have historically faced barriers to participating in the year-round outdoor activities our beautiful state offers,” said OEGP Board Member Brayhan Reveles. “My personal connection to nature is so important to me, but the way traditionally marginalized communities connect with nature is sometimes overlooked. Recreating in nature doesn’t mean training for hundred-mile endurance races or multi-day trips into the backcountry. It can be as simple as bird watching or a walk outside with a friend. Our goal is to fund organizations and programs that celebrate the many ways people connect to the land and invite all to apply.”
The Board of Directors of EOGP is composed of individuals with experience in recreation and conservation who come from the communities that the grant program serves.
The Board accepts grant applications from organizations that support outdoor activities for Colorado youth, demonstrate cultural competency when working with an OEGP audience, demonstrate a commitment to equity, equity, diversity and inclusion, or that represent the geographic diversity of the state of Colorado.
The OEGP Board hopes to provide grants to those previously unable to apply to grant programs 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 on Thursday, September 8 at 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to answer questions about the grants. For more information on the grant and links to the Q&A, visit the OEGP website.
“We are pleased to announce the next round of funding for the Colorado Outdoor Equity Grant Program. The first round generated great interest from a variety of organizations, and we hope our next round can reach even more organizations working to improve young people’s access to nature in Colorado,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “We encourage organizations to attend the Q&A sessions and apply for grants. Colorado’s nature 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 areas.”
Copyright 2022 KKCO. All rights reserved.