2020 Grantees

At Youth Outside, we believe a meaningful experience in nature can change the course of a life, and we strive to ensure that as many youth as possible can partake in the outdoors. Our grantmaking program, now in its eighth year, supports organizations committed to cultural relevancy in the outdoor field, to improving outcomes in health, and to increasing environmental awareness and advocacy among young people. Youth Outside’s grants provide crucial resources that help develop and maintain organizational capacity for sustainable programming while enhancing leadership opportunities for youth historically underrepresented in the outdoors narrative.

The following is a full list of Youth Outside’s 2020 grantees:

Acta Non Verba $15,000 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award for their Urban Youth Farm Project that connects youth of color from East Oakland to a nature-based farm program. Youth learn about healthy eating and sustainable farming, and helps youth build savings for their educational future.

Adventure Risk Challenge $17,500 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award for their wilderness-based literacy and leadership development summer programs, and post-summer mentoring and college access support, for English-learning high school students.

Bay Area Wilderness Training $17,500 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award for their programs that provide access to nature for underserved youth from all nine Bay Area counties, and develop outdoor educators through training, access to gear, and transportation.

Brothers on the Rise $15,000 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award for their programs which provide access to nature to low-income urban youth of color, integrating outdoor-based life skills, leadership development, and environmental career opportunities.

Brown Girl Surf $15,000 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award to support programs that integrate awareness of marine and coastal ecology through hands-on explorations and projects, while surfing. This program provides girls with an opportunity to confront and overcome fear, and develop skills in self-reliance, confidence, and leadership.

Camp Phoenix $15,000 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award to support programs that provide low-income, middle school students with outdoor-based adventure opportunities, educational enrichment, and social-emotional learning.

Canopy $15,000 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award to support programming in tree planting and stewardship, environmental education, and advocacy, for underrepresented youth of color who would otherwise not have access to environmental learning, outdoor experiences, and job training opportunities.

Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice $17,500 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award to support development of a robust garden program in order to serve youth from Oakland, the majority of whom are Latino-Indigenous, Black and Multiracial, who have been impacted by multiple criminalizing youth-serving systems, including foster care, juvenile and adult criminal injustice system and punitive school districts.

Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps $17,500 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award to support programs that provide opportunities for youth and young adults from priority populations to experience and better understand the wilderness and the outdoors by providing a transformational and immersive backcountry experience.

Elevated Legacy $7,000 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award supporting programming that employs an intergenerational model on competitive athletics, popular education trainings about social justice, community service, wilderness immersion, and indigenous rituals for sustained community transformation.

Environmental Traveling Companions $15,000 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award for their programs dedicated to opening access to the great outdoors to under-resourced youth and people with disabilities of all ages in ways that empower participants as leaders and stewards.

FoodWhat?! $15,000 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award to support their programs that serve low-income youth across Santa Cruz County by offering training in leadership skills, sustainable agriculture, cooking and nutrition, entrepreneurship, and community service.

Groundwork Richmond $15,000 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award for programs expanding and revitalizing the City of Richmond’s neglected parks and urban forest canopy. Throughout this process, participants are taught basic biology, ecology, hydrology, and public health benefits provided by a healthy urban forest and outdoor activity.

Insight Garden Program $15,000 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award to support their programs ensuring that youth and young adults in California prisons can engage with and learn from the natural world, and return home from prison as health equity leaders, environmental stewards, urban organic gardeners, greening community educators, and advocates for environmental justice and food sovereignty.

Movimiento $17,500 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award to support their work developing young people’s leadership and life skills via outdoor adventure, counseling and therapy, cultural exchange, service-learning, farming, and indigenous youth events. Movimiento’s focus is to synthesize outdoor-based learning experiences with mental health.

Oakland Leaf $20,000 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award to support the Love Cultivating Schoolyards program, which includes a stipend high school internship in which interns establish and maintain food-producing school-based gardens and compost programs, lead after-school gardening classes, and participate in monthly community experiences in nature.

One Cool Earth $15,000 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award to support their work engaging students in environmental stewardship through school garden programs, teaching healthy habits through growing food.

Our Wilderness Now $17,500 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award to support their community-based programming that empowers youth through nature connection, many of whom are developing their first sensitivity to stewardship of the environment.

Peacemakers, Inc. $17,500 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award for their work to help students and their families within the Richmond Bay Area to succeed educationally, socially, and emotionally through mentorship and restorative outdoor experiences that focus on the calming effects of nature.

Phat Beets Produce $15,000 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant supporting their work to build healthy, nature-connected, empowered, more employable youth from among at-risk constituencies in Oakland through a sustainable urban agriculture activities framework.

Pie Ranch $17,500 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant supporting their work to offer young people a new view of their world by getting them outdoors for hands-on learning and leadership experiences in environmental stewardship, sustainable gardening and farming, culinary arts and nutrition education, community-building, and food justice.

Planting Justice $17,500 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant supporting their programs that are dedicated to creating tangibly healing, economically scalable, and ecologically sustainable projects led by black/latinx/and indigenous people that transform unused community spaces into community farms, gardens, and nurseries.

Project Avary $17,500 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award to support early intervention and long-term prevention programming for children of incarcerated parents (CIP). Project Avary relies on outdoor education and recreation as a key strategy in improving the lives of CIP’s and breaking their social isolation.

Seven Tepees Youth Program $17,500 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award to support work with urban youth on day and overnight wilderness trips to foster the skills they need to make lifelong positive choices, and to give them the skills and values that will enable them to achieve college or career readiness by their senior year in high school. 

Sunrise Middle School $17,500 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award to support work to empower students in central/east San Jose to become leaders by exposing them to the natural world and leadership opportunities through outdoor experiences such as the snow, the desert, horseback riding, river rafting and more. 

Tolowa Dunes Stewards $17,000 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award to support their environmental education, protection and stewardship works, focused on the unique coast, dunes, and wetlands of the Lake Earl Wildlife Area and Tolowa Dunes State Park, including the sacred cultural sites of the indigenous first people of these lands, the Tolowa Dee-ni’.

Tuolumne River Trust $15,000 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award to support their work with underrepresented youth in riverside communities within Stanislaus County. Funding will be used to enhance culturally relevant programming that eliminates barriers to recreation and promotes outdoor activities as opportunities for leadership, improved health, and civic engagement.

Urban Sprouts $17,500 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award to leverage school gardens as interactive classrooms, inclusive spaces, sources for fresh and nutritious food, and as incubators for a 21st-century workforce that understands the importance of environmental stewardship and social justice.

Warrior Institute $17,500 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award for their programs which provide holistic, innovative solutions to organize and build indigenous leadership in the northern California region by forging new generations of young leaders with balanced (ki:maw) minds, bodies, and spirits who are empowered to create health, economic equality, and environmental justice for the next seven generations and beyond through outdoor experiences and environmental education.

Watershed Lands Grant Program is a three-year collaborative between youth-serving organizations and land trusts with support from Youth Outside, California Council of Land Trusts, PG&E, and the Stewardship Council.

The program objectives include increasing the visibility of the PG&E watershed lands as a resource for youth-serving organizations, increasing community engagement with PG&E for the protection of watershed lands, and supporting land trusts to strengthen and/or make new partnerships with youth-serving organizations for the benefit of both.

The program partners and their grant awards are listed below:

California Council of Land Trusts $15,000 awarded in 2020, third installment of a grant award for the creation of a case study that will capture and leverage lessons learned to help land trusts and other agencies better understand what they can do to increase culturally relevant engagement of youth and communities.

Ethos Youth Center and Sierra Foothill Conservancy $30,000 awarded to each in 2020, third installment of grant awards for the Nature Force Youth Ambassador Program, a joint project supporting underserved young people in developing leadership skills and becoming future stewards of the land through a meaningful connection to the outdoors and an increased awareness of the link between health and recreation.

Feather River Land Trust and Sierra Institute for Community and Environment $30,000 awarded to each in 2020, third installment of grant awards for the South Lassen Watersheds/Lake Almanor Stewardship Lands Youth Engagement Project, a joint project intended to engage youth through hands-on natural resource stewardship and citizen science, increase the capacity of the Feather River Land Trust to conserve land and water in the region, and increase Sierra Institute for Community and Environment’s youth involvement and educational programming through its Plumas Conservation, Restoration, Education in Watersheds (P-CREW) program.

Waterside Workshops $17,500 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award to provide job training, outdoor recreation, and holistic wraparound support for impacted youth to promote youth development, encourage sustainable and healthy lifestyles, and cultivate positive change in the Bay Area community.

Watsonville Wetlands Watch $17,500 awarded in 2020, second installment of a grant award to support their work protecting, restoring, and fostering an appreciation for the wetlands of the Pájaro Valley. One of WWW’s major goals is to cultivate wetland stewardship among underrepresented youth by building their personal connection with the wetlands through hands-on experiences in the outdoors and increasing their understanding of the important ecological functions that the wetlands serve.

Weekend Adventures $10,000 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award to support programs that provide meaningful routine outdoor adventures that helps to create connections within the participant groups and to the planet for youth living in marginalized neighborhoods in San Francisco. 

YES Nature to Neighborhoods $17,500 awarded in 2020, first installment of a grant award to support their programs which provide outdoor camp and community experiences for teens to develop leadership and life skills that promote successful transition to adulthood, and to expose youth to careers in the outdoors.