01/24/2022

Access Fund Partners with Backcountry to Fund Climbing Conservation Grants

We’re proud to announce a new partnership with Backcountry, a premier outdoor specialty retailer. Its generous sponsorship of our Climbing Conservation Grant program will support ground-level impact at local climbing areas, empowering local climbers to take real action to protect and steward the incredible places we love to climb.

Volunteers on a project funded by a Climbing Conservation Grant. Wild Iris Campground, WY, ancestral lands of Eastern Shoshone, Cheyenne, and Apsaalooké. Photo by Lee Powell.

“Backcountry recognizes the critical importance of conserving climbing environments, and the Access Fund’s Climbing Conservation Grant program is supporting the direct, imminent action at a local level,” says Backcountry CEO, Melanie Cox. “The climbing community has been a big part of Backcountry’s success over the years, so we’re honored to be giving back through our partnership with Access Fund, the most trusted and impactful community of climbing advocates.”

Our Climbing Conservation Grant program invests money directly into local climbing communities around the country—$1.3 million since the program started in 1991—by funding projects that preserve or enhance climbing opportunities and conserve the climbing environment. The program funds a range of projects, including climbing area stewardship, climber education, acquisition of new climbing areas, research projects, and the organization and capacity-building of local climbing organizations. The climbing community is growing quickly, and with that growth comes the need for increased stewardship and advocacy.

“Local climbing organizations and other advocacy groups are designing more and more advanced projects to protect climbing areas and mitigate long-term impacts,” says Jenna Winkler, national affiliate director at Access Fund. “Access Fund is dedicated to supporting these projects by sourcing funding opportunities so these groups can spend less time searching for resources and more time carrying out their projects.”

Thanks to the generous sponsorship commitment from Backcountry, Access Fund will expand its capacity to give local climbing organizations and others the financial support they need to make an impact in their own communities. Backcountry’s values align perfectly with our mission to lead and inspire the climbing community toward sustainable access and conservation of the climbing environment, making them a natural partner for the Climbing Conservation Grant program.

“We are proud to be working with Backcountry to fund local conservation and stewardship efforts around the country,” says Chris Winter, executive director of Access Fund. “Together, we will send even more money directly to local climbing communities to build sustainable trails, to buy new climbing areas, and to educate and inspire climbing advocates to protect the places we love.”

The Climbing Conservation Grants program is currently open to applications until March 1, 2022. Visit our grants page to apply.

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