On behalf of L.L.Bean, the ACA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 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.
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.
Hudson River Riders – Leaders from the Yonkers Paddling Club, the Hudson River Riders program engages diverse, underserved communities in Yonkers and the Bronx to offer a robust, educational and environmentally friendly kayak program to 13-16 year olds. This age range has little opportunity to attend summer camp, has no access to outside activities (except for cement playgrounds), and often has little experience with water activities. The goals of the program include: to educate young paddlers about their responsibility to be stewards of the environment, especially the Hudson River estuary and to help mold them into the next generation of environmental stewards. To enable participants go back into their community and advocate for paddlesports and outdoor activities. And of course to help these students develop a love of kayaking that will last their entire lives.
La Raza Explorers – Organized by Tampa Bay Kayak Anglers, La Raza Explorers provides the growing Hispanic population of Tampa Bay with educational paddling opportunities in their language and cultural representation.
Pride Day on the River – Pride Day on the River will take place on the Deerfield River in Charlemont, Massachusetts. All LGBTQ+ people and allies are invited to paddle, make friends, and create community connections.
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.