IPS Included in Historic Plan to Increase Outdoor Access to All in California through State Grant

SAN DIEGO–The Institute for Public Strategies announced today that it has received a $300,000 grant to increase access to the outdoors for all San Diegans regardless of who they are or where they live. The award is part of the Outdoors for All Strategy in partnership with the California Natural Resources Agency to build a movement across the state that will allow more people access to nature and provide outdoor experiences.

“The grant allows IPS to create the East County Outdoor Youth Empowerment and Adventure program, a new outdoor access initiative for youth participants from underserved populations in Lemon Grove, Spring Valley/La Presa, and El Cajon with a focus on equity and inclusion,” IPS CEO Brenda Simmons said. “In partnership with the participants, we’ll lead day outings and camping trips where youth will learn about health, wellness, and empowerment.”

The Youth Community Access grant was established with funds from the Proposition 64 cannabis tax to support public, educational, job training and outreach programs that expand youth access to cultural and natural resources. Priorities include establishing spaces for people and nature to thrive; fostering a sense of belonging in the outdoors; and building career pathways for youth to pursue in recreation, natural resources and restoration. The strategy will build on efforts to cultivate an outdoor culture and workforce that reflects California’s diversity.

“Participants will be involved in planning the excursions with a ‘Choose Your Adventure’ model empowering them to investigate topics that can improve their lives, their communities and the institutions that serve them,” Simmons said. “This is an exciting opportunity for IPS and we look forward to getting started.”

IPS was one of five nonprofits in San Diego County to be awarded the grant. Statewide, there were 71 grants awarded. IPS works alongside communities to build power, challenge systems of inequity, protect health, and improve quality of life with a vision for safe, secure, vibrant and healthy communities where everyone can thrive.

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Brittany Hunsinger
Institute for Public Strategies
(619) 476-9100 ext. 122

Tony Anderson
California Natural Resources Agency Deputy Secretary for Communications
(279) 599-0373