Washington, D.C. – Today Outdoor Nation, the youth-led movement championing the outdoors, announced the opening of 2011 Take Me Fishing Awards, which will provide a total of $25,000 in funding for ten projects. Take Me Fishing Awards will be given to young leaders ages 18 to 28 who are committed to increasing youth participation in recreational fishing and reconnecting youth to the outdoors through unique outdoor experiences. The grants are made possible by The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, a nonprofit that increases participation in recreational angling and boating.
“We are grateful to The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation for investing in the innovative, creative ideas of America’s young people,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation, the organization that oversees Outdoor Nation. “This seed money will not only introduce a new generation to fishing and boating, it will create lifelong connections between youth and the outdoors.
The Take Me Fishing Awards continue the momentum of Outdoor Nation’s 2011 Summer Youth Summits, which brought young leaders together in a weekend forum to address the growing disconnect between youth and the outdoors. During each regional Summit, young people discussed regional issues and brainstormed project ideas that strengthen America’s bond to outdoor spaces.
“We are pleased to support Outdoor Nation in its efforts to connect youth with the outdoors,” said Frank Peterson, president and CEO of The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation. “Our research shows that fishing is recognized as one of the top ‘gateway’ activities to other outdoor interests. We’re hopeful that our sponsorship of these awards will help create future lifetime anglers and boaters who appreciate and respect our natural environment.”
Winning projects will increase the numbers of young fishing enthusiasts, involve diverse and underserved populations and provide youth with skills they will enjoy for a lifetime. Projects will run from the Fall of 2011 through the Summer of 2012.
Applications for 2011 Take Me Fishing Awards are being accepted online through November 1, 2011. The winning projects will be announced on November 14, 2011. In addition to Take Me Fishing Awards, the Outdoor Foundation is accepting applications for Outdoor Nation grants and manages the North Face Explore Fund grants. For more details on all grant opportunities, visit www.outdoornation.org/grants.
Outdoor Nation is an initiative of The Outdoor Foundation and was founded with initial support from The North Face, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, The REI Foundation, The Conservation Fund and the National Park Service.
About The Outdoor Foundation
The Outdoor Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, action oriented outreach, and education programs, the Foundation works with partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In 2010, the Foundation launched Outdoor Nation, a pioneering initiative that aims to empower youth to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities across the United States. For more information visit: www.outdoorfoundation.org and www.outdoornation.org.