Outdoor Nation Selects Game On! Challenge Grant Recipients

A total of $20,000 in funding is awarded to youth-inspired projects leveraging video game technology to increase outdoor participation across the U.S.


Washington, DC (June 11, 2013) - Today, Outdoor Nation, a national movement that reconnects Millennials to the outdoors, announced the grant winners of Game On! Challenge Grants, a first-of-its-kind pilot program that invests in youth-inspired programs that leverage video game technologies to get youth outdoors and active. Outdoor Nation and its partner, the Entertainment Software Association, selected four winning projects based on innovation, likelihood of increasing outdoor participation, effectiveness at introducing new audiences to the outdoors, number of youth likely impacted, partnership potential and budget.

“We are thrilled to invest in these innovative projects and excited to work with our grantees to ensure that the final products are sustainable and successful – serving as a new model to inspire outdoor participation,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. “Special thanks to our lead partner, Entertainment Software Association, our advisory committee and the Fish and Wildlife Service for their extraordinary encouragement and guidance.”

The winners are (name/organization • project • amount):

  • Ben Malakoff (VA) • King of Park • $5,000
    Description: King of the Park is a location based outdoor recreation game designed to encourage youth to explore and spend time in their local parks. The idea is to provide an incentive driven social experience that connects the virtual world to natural surroundings.
  • MoGo Mobile (VA) • Get Some FreshAIR: a Mobile Marketing Campaign • $5,000
    Description: FreshAiR is an award-winning platform for creating interactive, multimedia-rich outdoor experiences of many varieties, including outdoor guides and games, geo-caching experiences and more. The funding will fuel a campaign that includes competitions that will motivate young adults to create their own outdoor experiences via FreshAiR.
  • Thousand Islands Land Trust (NY) • A Forest Story • $5,000
    Description: A Forest Story is a mobile game that will simultaneously challenge players to create a healthy virtual forest, require interactions with nature in real-life, and educate new audiences about the importance of conservation.
  • Jenny Gottstein (CA) • The Roadtrip Game • $5,000
    Description: The Roadtrip Game is a platform that enables millennials to connect with the outdoors on their own terms, and share this experience with their peers in a way that is memorable, engaging, and fun. The purpose is to raise awareness about park closures, motivate Californians to visit their state parks, create a fundraising tool for conservation programs, and continue to promote outdoor exploration and environmental stewardship among the millennial generation.

Total amount granted: $20,000

The winners will attend E3, the premiere global computer and video game event, which is held in Los Angeles. There they will meet with leaders in the entertainment technology sector as well as executives in the philanthropic and non-profit worlds – marketing their projects in hopes of securing additional support.

“Technology can be used as a bridge between young people and the outdoors,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation, the organization that started the Outdoor Nation movement. “By harnessing the creativity of America’s young people, we are using technology to inspire and engage new audiences to learn about their natural world and get outdoors.”

Outdoor Nation is committed to increasing and expanding youth participation in outdoor recreation through education, engagement and action in order to cultivate a healthier, more active generation. In 2012, Outdoor Nation awarded more than $250,000 to young adults for projects that reconnect young people to the outdoors. For more information on Outdoor Nation grants programs, visit outdoornation.org/grants.

About The Outdoor Foundation and Outdoor Nation
The charitable arm of Outdoor Industry Association®, The Outdoor Foundation is taking the lead nationally to inspire and empower a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts through its signature program, Outdoor Nation. Launched in 2010, Outdoor Nation is the only national initiative that is engaging, empowering and investing in next-gen outdoor champions and outdoor projects — ensuring the future of outdoor participation. For more information visit: outdoorfoundation.org and outdoornation.org.

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