INDIANAPOLIS – July 6, 2012 – The North Face has awarded an Explore Fund grant to Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) for its youth initiative KIB Clubs. The Explore Fund’s mission is to inspire and enable the next generation of explorers by funding nonprofit organizations that are working to re-connect children with nature. By encouraging an active healthy lifestyle and protection of our natural landscapes, a stronger connection of youth to the outdoors can be nurtured. KIB Clubs is the next evolution of KIB programming, engaging students, educators and caring adults in the renewal of public spaces. KIB was selected from over five hundred applications submitted for the first of two grant cycles in 2012, because of our mission to unite people to build community and transform public spaces through aesthetic and environmental improvement. Since The Explore Fund was initiated in 2010, The North Face has provided $625,000 in grants to non-profits working to connect youth to the outdoors.
“This grant will allow us to continue our mission, and engage youth to learn and care for outdoor spaces,” said David Forsell, president of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. “The students at IPS #109 are currently planting trees to green their campus. They are also exploring a butterfly garden, and most beneficial to their health—besides working in the soil, side by side with follow students— the students would like to build a fitness/walking trail on the north side of the campus.”
KIB ‘s mission is to unite people to build community and transform public spaces through aesthetic and environmental improvement. For over 15 years, KIB has worked with educators and the kids they teach to provide learning opportunities and beautify school grounds. KIB clubs, much like a math or science club, will create and maintain outdoor classrooms with trees, gardens, wildlife habitats, recycling programs, air and water purification methods and much more. In addition, KIB has been able to advance the mission of KIB Clubs exponentially with the support of several important partner organizations including the City of Indianapolis, and the Lilly Endowment.
“The Outdoor Foundation has identified that a barrier to getting youth outdoors is lack of opportunity for kids to learn about and actually get to outdoors. We believe this has to happen at a grass roots, community level,” said Ann Krcik, director of Outdoor Participation at The North Face. “During the granting process, we make a conscious effort to reflect on what we refer to as the virtuous cycle. We first need to provide the opportunity for kids to get outside and play. If we can provide them with an initial positive experience outdoors, they will grow up inspired to care about their natural world.”
KIB will soon be taking applications for 2013 KIB Clubs. To learn more about KIB and its youth-serving programs. visit www.kibi.org/kib_clubs. For more information about The North Face Explore Fund, please visit www.explorefund.org.
About Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB)
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization uniting people to build community and transform public spaces through aesthetic and environmental improvement. In 2011, KIB worked with more than 46,000 volunteers on over 600 community projects throughout the city. To learn more, visit www.kibi.org, or follow us on Twitter @kibiorg and like us on Facebook @kibiorg.
About The North Face®
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.
PlanetExplore is an online community founded by The North Face, powered by partner organizations that share a passion for the outdoors, and designed to help individuals and families learn about and participate in outdoor activities and events in their area. PlanetExplore is a portal to the outdoors designed to inspire and enable people of all ages to become regularly active outside, and to enjoy the benefits gained through a connection to nature.