BIPOC Park Pass Distribution
Helping build a more inclusive and accessible outdoor experience for all by removing financial barriers to accessing state parks
Access to the outdoors is a human right. Spending time in nature has immense social, emotional, physical, and academic benefits. Everyone deserves to have access to meaningful, safe outdoor experiences and the benefits that come along with them. And access to the outdoors is a pathway to a crucial and growing piece of Maine's economy.
It is also true that 84% of people of color live in nature deprived areas in Maine; a state that is 89% forest. We must act in order to address both this significant disparity and the root causes of this inequity.
Our network's BIPOC park pass initiatives is connected to Thrive Outside Day, a national campaign by Outdoor Foundation’s Thrive Outside Initiative to support inclusive and accessible outdoor experiences for diverse communities across the country. Thrive Outside is helping to cast a light on these disparities and share the diverse ways that people connect with nature. The Nature Based Education Consortium is the backbone of the Thrive Outside Maine community.
As a network, the Nature Based Education Consortium is oriented toward systems change as well as action to ensure access to outdoor experience for all Maine youth.
To acknowledge the barrier of cost and the community commitment it takes to overcome it, our network is distributing free Maine state park passes directly to BIPOC individuals. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color can enter a raffle to receive a pass.
In order to work toward larger systems-level change, NBEC is partnering with Maine Initiatives to co-host an Outdoor Equity Fund to make grants to BIPOC-led outdoor organizations through a process of participatory grantmaking. You can learn about this Outdoor Equity Fund and the first cohort of grantees.
We’re helping create a more inclusive and accessible outdoor experience for all through the Outdoor Foundation's Thrive Outside Initiative, a community-led program built with trusted local and national partners.
The Outdoor Foundation's Thrive Outside Initiative is focused on reversing the declining trend of outdoor engagement by working at the grassroots level, empowering communities to make outdoor recreation an accessible lifestyle for all. The Initiative awards multi-year, capacity-building grants to diverse communities to build and strengthen networks focused on providing children and families with repeat and reinforcing experiences in the outdoors.
Outdoor youth programming and public-private partnerships such as the Thrive Outside Initiative are helping to address equity barriers to the outdoors in communities across the country. The Outdoor Foundation is working through strategic investments to move the needle on barriers such as safety, walkability, transportation, cost and cultural inclusion.
As the backbone of the Thrive Outside Maine Community, NBEC is strengthening our statewide network of nonprofit, philanthropic, and business partners.