The Outdoor Equity Alliance has been awarded a $50,000 grant from Princeton Area Community Foundation’s Bunbury Fund, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space announced last month.

The Outdoor Equity Alliance includes public, private, and non-profit organizations throughout Mercer County sharing knowledge and resources to remove the barriers to access, participation, and engagement in outdoor green spaces. The OEA is fiscally sponsored by FoHVOS.

The OEA says that the grant will be used to support the organizational development, strategic planning and visioning activities to advance the mission of the Outdoor Equity Alliance.

Renata Barnes, Outdoor Equity Alliance coordinator, is the first staff member of the OEA.

“OEA helps our partners develop programs that ultimately help more people share in the health, wellness and economic benefits of the outdoors and green economy, with the added benefit of leveling the playing field, for youth of color. We achieve this through collaboration and alliance building,” Barnes said in a media release. “The OEA has already begun forming authentic and meaningful partnerships with other organizations and individuals through programs founded on creating pathways and experiences where very few if any have existed prior. We judge success by realizing a more diverse range of stakeholders. All these voices matter, especially when it comes to the environment.”

The Outdoor Equity Alliance was established to create educational, recreational and career opportunities for people of all ages, races and ethnicities, income levels and abilities to enjoy nature and become stewards of the outdoors.

“Members of underserved communities have less access and representation on public lands.” said Lisa Wolff, FoHVOS executive director “This very generous grant will help Mercer County advance the OEA mission of ‘Nature for All.’”

“The Bunbury Fund’s advisers recognize the importance of engaging the next generation of environmental leaders in the region by providing access to quality outdoor opportunities and career exposures, particularly in communities of color,” said fund adviser Jay Watson. “We provide this support in recognition of the challenges of establishing a start up in such complicated times and hope that it will help build the organization’s capacity and advance their good work in the community.”

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