Merrell Pack Projects bring outdoor adventures to all
Through our Pack Projects program, we award grants of up $2,500 to encourage people to spend time outside and to have their own active adventures in the great outdoors.
These grants have made a difference to hundreds of lives, increasing participation in outdoor pursuits and creating connections between both children and adults and the outdoors.
Whether it's an outdoor afterschool program or adding showshoeing to schools' curriculums, 2013 saw us help to get 6,800 children outside for a total of 69,000 hours.
Here are some of our favorite Pack projects:
Outdoor Active Afterschool Program / Concrete Safaris
A New York City (East Harlem) based afterschool program based inside two public housing projects in which 30 children will exercise outdoors five days a week and 15 children will exercise outdoors two days a week. These seven to eleven year-olds will swim, run, hike, cycle, and fish in and around East Harlem. They will also invite 400 of their classmates to garden with them at the children's farm and gardens they have created and maintained since 2008. With the Pack Project funding Concrete Safaris, they engaged 500 children to spend over 18,000 hours outdoors getting active.
Snowshoeing Curriculum Builds Outdoor Activity in the Winter / Tapestry Charter School
Tapestry Charter school expanded its winter programs to include snowshoeing. The school-wide goals emphasize lifelong fitness in an active process where students become aware of making choices towards a healthy, fulfilling, active lifestyle. A new snowshoeing curriculum emphasizes the need to build outdoor activity throughout the school year. Regular physical education included snowshoeing and Tapestry’s ongoing Expeditionary Learning teambuilding trips expanded throughout the school year motivating over 200 children from grades five to twelve to get outside in the winter months.
Adventure Education Provides an Outdoor Alternative to Team Sports / James Workman Middle School
James Workman Middle School introduced a brand new year-long class – Adenture Education. This class was created as an alternative for students who do not enjoy traditional school team sports. With the Pack Project grant, Adventure Education introduced kids to outdoor sports such as hiking, campaing and geocaching. So many students do not realize what is outside in their backyards or just a few steps away. Through Adventure Education over 140 children discovered their community, giving them simple tools, and skills to explore the outdoors.
Boys and Girl’s Club Focused on Nature and the Outdoors / At Risk to Champions
In partnership with the Boys and Girl’s Club of Newhall, Calif. “At Risk Kids” introduces children to nature with a focus on hiking and camping. With the Pack Project Grants “At Risk Kids” expanded their program to offer weekend long camping trips and increased stewardship events including trail maintenance, graffiti removal, non-native invasive pulls (mostly Tamarisk) in all six of the local canyons and local river bed, and micro-trash clean ups to keep our local condors safe. With the Pack Project Grant “At Risk Kids” got over 600 kids outside and involved in taking care of their outdoor communities.