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MTN DEW® announced 40 recipients of the MTN DEW Outdoor Grants program, which awards $200,000 to organizations championing the great outdoors across the United States.
Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition, in Shelbyville, was selected as a grant winner for its incredible impact through community efforts which include connecting people to local rivers, streams and lakes and inspire them to take positive actions to improve their waterways and watersheds.
According to Executive Director of the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition Mary Culler, the $5,000 grant will be used to support the Paddle MO program and the costs for four multi-day education river adventures in 2022.
Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition started the Paddle MO program in 2016 and since that time have hosted paddlers from 18 U.S. states to explore and learn about some of the great rivers in Missouri. The past Paddle MO trips have included a five-day, 100-mile educational paddle down the last 100 miles of the Missouri River and through the confluence with the Mississippi River, and a 25-mile educational paddle on the upper Current River, which is the nation’s first National Scenic Riverway.
“For our 2022 program, we are expanding the program to offer four trips between the months of August and October: a 22-mile trip on the James River south of Springfield, a 70-mile trip on the Missouri River at Kansas City, a 30-mile trip on the Missouri River from St. Charles through the confluence with the Mississippi, and the 25-mile trip on the Current River,” said Culler.
The Paddle MO program provides the logistics and support crew to allow people to experience and learn about our state’s rivers in a multi-day, educational experience. Information about the 2022 Paddle MO trips and videos from past trips can be found at paddlemo.org.
According to the Outdoor Industry Association, 7.1 million more Americans enjoyed outdoor recreation in 2020 than in the year before – with a record 53 percent of Americans participating at least once. Recognizing the unprecedented number of people who retreat to the wilderness as the pandemic carries on, MTN DEW launched Outdoor Grants as an immediate response to support community organizations that will continue to foster and maintain this uptick in outdoor activity.
While the demand for outdoor recreation keeps rising, the pandemic is simultaneously causing funding declines or stagnancies for community organizations. To help narrow this disparity and reach even more local nonprofits impacted by funding and volunteer participation challenges than before, MTN DEW doubled the number of its Outdoor Grants from its 2020 program. Organizations and consumers applied for a chance to receive a $5,000 grant in October 2021 by sharing how they or their favorite community organizations positively impact their local outdoor spaces at www.DEWOutdoorGrants.com.
Grant recipients were selected based on their efforts to protect and preserve the outdoors and how they help people get outside – whether through outdoor conservation, participation or infrastructure initiatives. Aside from a common dedication to the outdoors, grant recipients shared various passions around education and restoration to address the recent influx in activity and the resulting effects on lakes, hunting grounds, urban outdoor spaces and more.