Dec 16, 2020 – The Great Outdoors Fund and Colorado Parks & Wildlife have joined forces with the Upper San Juan Watershed Partnership to improve access to the San Juan River and build a new, much-needed take-out ramp near Pagosa Springs, CO.
“Using crowdfunding to generate money through individuals and the public has become commonplace,” said Lori McCullough, Founder of The Great Outdoors Fund. “What is not commonplace is crowdfunding to build new or restore dilapidated recreation infrastructure, which is just what we’re venturing to do.”
The San Juan River Public Access project is one of the nation’s first crowdfunding campaigns to build outdoor recreation infrastructure to fulfill recreational demands while also protecting the health of the water resource.
“This is a signature run in the Pagosa area, it’s a beautiful section of the San Juan River to float and it’s become very popular,” said Tobi Rohwer, owner of Pagosa Outside. “With the funds raised, we’ll construct a new boat ramp and eddy feature to make it safer for boaters to take their boats out of the river. Plus, we’ll expand the parking area, making the overall experience better and safer for everyone.”
The San Juan project is the first project to be highlighted in The Great Outdoors Fund’s new Featured Project Program, in which the partners are piloting digital donation strategies focused on projects that meet specific criteria. Up next, The Great Outdoors Fund and USDA Forest Service, along with the Friends of the Bridger Teton will collaborate to fundraise for the Green River Lake Recreation Site enhancement project, which is slated to receive funding from Year 1 of the Great American Outdoors Act, pending approval by Congress.
Click here to donate directly to the San Juan River Public Access project. Importantly, 100% of all donations will go directly to a project specified by the giver.
About The Great Outdoors Fund
The Great Outdoors Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established to generate voluntary funding from the private sector to assist America’s public agencies in improving recreational opportunities for the benefit and enjoyment of people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
A lot of exciting things have been happening at The Great Outdoors Fund recently and we’re excited to announce yet another new initiative that involves YOU (the public!). But before we get to the good stuff, let us give you a little bit more information about how we got here.
The Great Outdoors Fund was founded in 2017 to support one critical need we believe we could help fix: keeping the great outdoors great, and more importantly, open, for the benefit and enjoyment of people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
But why is this an issue?
Most people don’t realize this, but in the United States alone, our public lands have more than $100 billion (with a B!) in backlog maintenance.
It’s true. But what’s that mean?
Simply put: It means our public agencies don’t have the funds they need, so our infrastructure is completely dilapidated and outdated, and because of it, our (the public’s!) access to public lands and waters, and outdoor recreational opportunities are at risk of being greatly diminished.
Since our inception, we’ve worked with our corporate, nonprofit and public agency partners to complete some exciting projects—with more on the way (stay tuned!)—but we haven’t called on the public and individuals to generate voluntary funding… until now.
We all know that 2020 has been quite the, err, wild ride. And one of the many things that we’ve seen this year has been a global pandemic that has quite literally forced people to seek refuge in the great outdoors.
We can’t express enough how much we’ve loved seeing people outside and enjoying the great outdoors. After all, our primary goal with our organization has been to encourage people to get back to nature so that it would remind them why it’s worth protecting.
However, all these awesome outdoor adventures come with a harsh reality: the unexpected influx of people is putting even more strain on our already fragile recreational escapes.
That’s why we’re launching a new initiative to call on the public for help through crowdfunding initiatives called our Featured Projects Program.
Our Featured Projects Program is dedicated to helping our public agency partners secure funding for projects that are desperately needed in some of the most-visited recreation areas in the country. These projects have been specifically selected because they can get started as soon as we secure the funding, but we need your help to do it.
From individuals to businesses alike, we encourage all lovers of the great outdoors to get involved.
We’ll be continuing to add to the list of Featured Projects, which you can always find here we encourage everyone to find a project that resonates with them so we can all do our part to #GiveBackToNature and spread the word.
To kick things off, we’re highlighting our project called the San Juan River Public Access Project (Phase 1), which will provide a variety of improvements to help meet recreational demands at a highly-visited access point on the upper San Juan River near Pagosa Springs, CO.
This is a very exciting opportunity to offer to those who this impacts most—YOU (the public!)—to help us in our mission. So, what do you say?
P.S. Don’t forget to give us a follow to stay up to date with our efforts.