Deadline for applications is June 30

SANTA FE, N.M. – Applications for the Outdoor Equity Fund to support New Mexico's outdoor recreation economy are open, Director of the Outdoor Recreation Division (ORD) Axie Navas announced today. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2021 by 5 pm MT.

Now in its second year, the first-of-its-kind Outdoor Equity Fund supports organizations who focus on improving equitable access to the outdoors for local youth. The grant was created to foster transformative outdoor experiences, stewardship, and respect for New Mexico’s land, water, and cultural heritage. Spending time outside is more important than ever for our mental and physical well-being and the state is proud to align with outdoor-minded organizations.

Thanks to the support of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state lawmakers, funding for the Outdoor Equity Fund has grown to over $860,000 – up from the $261,000 the ORD was able to award last year.

"New Mexico's outdoor recreation economy is growing faster than it is in the rest of the United States and it's one of the sectors targeted for expansion by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham," Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said. "The Outdoor Equity Fund continues this momentum by boosting these inspiring outdoor initiatives all over the state."

Grants of $1,500 to $20,000 will be awarded to Tribes, Pueblos, and Nations; municipalities; counties; nonprofits; K-12 schools and districts; and colleges and universities. Applicants must have a well-developed written plan to engage low-income youth in nature-based outdoor recreation activities. Proposed projects must serve a population where at least 40% are low-income youth up to age 18, and must include some type of education plan on the climate and environment.

“The first-of-its-kind Outdoor Equity Fund now has more than four times the funding to award in 2021, enabling us to meet the phenomenal demand we saw for the grant last year,” Director Navas said. “This innovative program will get thousands of young New Mexicans outside over the next 18 months. They’ll fly-fish, hunt, ride bikes, go birding, ride ATVs and much more.”

Last year, the state granted funds to 25 projects for a total of $261,863. Those programs, based throughout New Mexico, added up to getting approximately 2,700 kids outside over the past year. It also leveraged more than $7 million in additional funding.

Programs funded in 2020 included outdoor classrooms, youth conservation education, school gardening, fly-fishing, watershed projects, cultural connections for Indigenous, immigrant, and LatinX youth, after school and summer school programs, acequia management, higher education and career mentoring, restoration, bicycle programs for young men of color, and more.

Learn more about last year’s recipients.

Successful applicants must adhere to all COVID-safe social distancing and group size guidelines, as well as any other state regulations. Applicants must include these guidelines in their educational and recreational plan proposals.

Apply here by June 30.

View the 2021 Outdoor Equity Program Guide.

Learn more about ORD and its other grant programs.

If you need assistance, please email Axie Navas, ORD Director, or call 505-660-5992; or email Alyssa Renwick, ORD Project Coordinator, or call 505-795-1792.

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