BRIDGE OUTDOORS, A BETHLEHEM CENTER PROGRAM (CHATTANOOGA, TN)
For 103 years, the Bethlehem Center has served South Chattanooga by building lasting relationships with youth and families. Bridge Outdoors was created in 2017 to break down barriers to nature and outdoor recreation, especially among middle and high school students in the BIPOC community as well as those experiencing economic hardship. The recent merger of both organizations has increased their capacity to connect students to nature, create adventure, and inspire joy, with trauma-informed after-school adventures that include hiking, biking, caving, horseback riding, climbing, land stewardship projects, swimming lessons, canoeing, paddle boarding, camping and more. Over 200 Bridge students have been served through more than 300 outdoor adventures within a safe, fun and welcoming community.
CAMP RAINBOW GOLD/HIDDEN PARADISE (BOISE, ID)
With 40 years of experience serving Idaho children and their families battling cancer, Camp Rainbow Gold is leading the way to build Idaho's only medically designed, accessible and adaptive camp to serve nonprofits from across the state. Two years ahead of schedule, they are transforming a 172-acre golf course resort with donated ADA cabins, a health center, an outdoor amphitheater, and an equestrian center. Families will also enjoy adaptive bike trails, a 3-D archery course, a ropes course, fishing, canoeing, and paddleboat areas. With tremendous community support, they are helping children, families, and adults trade the harsh lights of hospital rooms for the healing that comes through sunshine, nature, and being with peers, giving kids, no matter their age, diagnosis or disability, a chance to be kids.
IDAHO TRAILS ASSOCIATION (BOISE, ID)
Idaho Trails Association's mission is to keep Idaho's hiking trails open for all, working with volunteers to preserve the trail system through education, maintenance projects and public lands advocacy. Federal and state funding for the care of Idaho’s trails falls far short of what is needed to keep most of them open and usable. ITA was founded in 2010 to help address this problem by creating a community of outdoor enthusiasts who recruit and teach volunteers how to do trail work to maintain access to Idaho's incredible public lands. Caretaking of trails fosters a deeper love of nature, reduces the human impact from users going off-trail and into fragile ecosystems, and ultimately preserves wild places for generations to come.
VERMONT ADAPTIVE SKI & SPORTS (KILLINGTON, VT)
Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports is committed to empowering individuals with disabilities. They promote independence and further equality through access and instruction to sports and recreational activities, providing a physical, mental and social experience that's immeasurable in promoting self-confidence. With the largest variety of program opportunities and unique, specialized equipment, activities include alpine and XC skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, sailing, cycling, hiking, rock/ice climbing, mountain biking, environmental programs, wellness retreats and more.
YOUTH SPORTS ALLIANCE (PARK CITY, UT)
Youth Sports Alliance (YSA) runs after school programs introducing kids to sports and healthy lifestyles with the goal of getting them outside and away from their screens. Evidence shows that active youth are more likely to succeed in life – physically, emotionally, socially and financially, and they work to bring those benefits to all children regardless of their family finances, gender, race or abilities. They also provide scholarships, proper clothing, gear, instruction and transportation to ensure that all student in the community have access to their programs. 2,400 kids participated last year, coming from diverse backgrounds with more than thirty percent from minority groups, a quarter from low-income families and a growing number of our students having cognitive or physical challenges.