On behalf of L.L.Bean, the ACA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Club Fostered Community (CFC) Grant program. Each of the organizations listed below have shown dedication to increasing accessibility and equitable paddling opportunities for their communities. We look forward to witnessing and sharing in the success of these organizations and programs. Stay tuned for their lessons and examples that you can bring back into your community.
Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse – The Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse is a nonprofit dedicated to providing free kayaking programs for community members. They create valuable opportunities to New York residents to access their local waterfront, and they serve participants from socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods.
Camp Common Ground – Out of Oakland, California, Camp Common Ground works to lead with empathy by teaching middle and high school youth social-emotional skills to build meaningful relationships across race and class lines. Their programs include intercultural workshops, camp activities, stand-up paddleboarding, and other activities to help build friendships through shared interests.
Chicago Voyagers – Chicago Voyagers aims to empower at-risk youth through year-round outdoor adventure therapy programs that include hiking and backpacking, overnight camping, kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, and more. They have partnered with more than 30 local schools and community organizations, allowing them to reach the individuals that can most benefit from their programming.
Diversify Whitewater – Diversify Whitewater is a non-profit that organizes whitewater rafting trips and paddling skills events across the United States to help remove material and cultural barriers to paddlesports for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and allies. Their events provide both equipment and instruction for every participant and are located close to urban areas with hope of creating safe and welcoming environments for participants to try something new.
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor (Erie Canalway) – On August 6th, 2022, Erie Canalway will be hosting their “Paddle the Canals” event so that participants may be introduced to recreational paddling and learn about the historical significance of the Erie Canal. This event will be open to the public and additional outreach is being conducted to underserved youth so that they may feel more connected to the history and heritage of their community.
Perikomen Watershed Conservation Corps (PWCC) – The Perkiomen Watershed Conservation Corps (PWCC) is a free, youth-based program that focuses on experiential, environmental education and service learning for local high school students. Members participate in service events focused on ecological land management, watershed stewardship, and community outreach, integrated with instruction and reflection to enrich learning while promoting civic responsibility. PWCC members are recruited from all local school districts and homeschool groups, resulting in the inclusion of participants from a variety of different socioeconomic and educational backgrounds.
Pride Day on the River – Pride Day on the River will take place on June 11th on the Deerfield River in Charlemont, Massachusetts. All LGBTQ+ people and allies are invited to paddle, make friends, and create community connections.
STRIDE Adaptive Sports – STRIDE Adaptive Sports works to educate and empower individuals with special needs through sport and recreation programs in New York. Their programs that include adaptive rafting and kayaking. The organization primarily serves youth, teaching them lifelong skills that will help them navigate everyday obstacles.
Team River Runner – Team River Runner (TRR) provides veterans and their families with opportunities to participate in paddlesports all over the country. TRR’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will be hosting a LGBTQ+/BIPOC Affinity Paddling Clinic. This event is an overnight wilderness whitewater paddling clinic on the Lower Deschutes River in Oregon for LGBTQ+/BIPOC identifying veterans and current members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
To learn about past L.L.Bean grant recipients and projects, please click here.