Those who live in the Washington D.C. metro area know that Shenandoah National Park is the place to go when it is time to get away. Sitting just two hours outside the city, the park is a launchpad for guided hikes and overnight backpacking trips, which are available through REI Co-op’s Local Experiences program. From the Appalachian Trail to Stony Man Mountain, it is one of the most iconic parks in the system and we are grateful for a chance to play in it!
This convenience comes at a price – the relatively short distance means more visitors and more impact in the way of trash and damage to natural resources.
For that reason, REI continues to invest in our national parks by supporting our official nonprofit partners, like Shenandoah National Park Trust. REI’s local grants program in the Mid Atlantic funded the rehabilitation of Hawksbill overlook and a volunteer coordinator position that allows the park to marshal critical resources for conservation and stewardship projects.
On a more local level, REI supports the Trust’s efforts to help Shenandoah National Park develop programming that meets the needs of an increasingly diverse visitor base.
The co-op prioritizes equitable access to the outdoors and is championing programs to remove barriers. One example is Every Kid Outdoors, which gives 4th graders and their families free passes into national parks. On a more local level, REI supports the Trust’s efforts to help Shenandoah National Park develop programming that meets the needs of an increasingly diverse visitor base.
The co-op continues to invest in local organizations that connect underrepresented communities to the outdoors and to our parks. We’re amplifying their work and helping them build capacity to serve more members of their communities. Whether it’s funding for leadership and career development, hiring more staff, making donations of gear, providing classes and outings, or simply providing a place to meet – at a distance.
It is all part of our DNA as a company – we believe a life outside is a life well-lived, and that the outside is for everyone.
You can read more about how REI Co-op puts its values in action and harnesses the power of its 20 million members here.
Story by: REI Co-op Local Experiences in the Mid-Atlantic
In celebration of National Park Week, we’re featuring stories from our Partners that make our work possible.
Shenandoah National Park Trust is a 2020 REI Co-op Grantee. We couldn’t do our work alongside Shenandoah National Park without the support of partners like REI Co-op.
Learn more about how to become an Organizational, Corporate, or Foundation Partner by contacting Chip Sawyer: firstname.lastname@example.org