RIVERSPORT has delivered over 150,000 hours of Thrive Outside programming to 7,100 youth in our community since 2019 thanks to the Outdoor Foundation and our community partners including American Fidelity, the Community Foundation and others. Youth from underserved communities are learning to row, experiencing summer camp for the first time, exploring outdoor recreation including whitewater rafting and flatwater kayaking, and more. We believe being outdoors matters and are excited to “share the outdoors” with our next generation!
The Outdoor Foundation believes Oklahoma City is poised to become one of America’s leading cities with a focus on building outdoor culture, and they have supported our efforts with a $410,000 grant.
Oklahoma City is one of four cities that received the grant – Atlanta, Grand Rapids, and San Diego are the others – all selected because of their commitment to creating opportunities for families to embrace time spent outdoors. Dubbed the “Thrive Outside” community initiative, the goal is to create healthier individuals, communities and economies by making the outdoors a habit.
A key component of the “Thrive Outside Community” initiative is community partnership. In Oklahoma City, RIVERSPORT and the OKC Boathouse Foundation has partnered with numerous organizations including the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools, Oklahoma City Public Schools, Latino Community Development Agency, Oklahoma City Parks Department, Oklahoma City/County Health Department, OKCRespond, YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, OKC Black Chamber, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Oklahoma City Community Foundation. Additional organizations are joining the initiative all the time.
“We are both honored and excited to be chosen as an Outdoor Foundation Thrive Outside Community as we work to encourage a cultural shift in toward more active, outdoor lifestyles,” said Mike Knopp, executive director of the OKC Boathouse Foundation. “We believe the grant has had and will continue to have a profound, generational impact in the greater Oklahoma City metro and will act as a catalyst for others to invest in this effort. We appreciate the engagement and attention of the outdoor industry, as it validates our passionate efforts over the past decade to show how our city can become a leader in the movement outdoors.”
The Outdoor Foundation’s Thrive Outside initiative is supported by outdoor industry leaders including the VF Foundation, REI, Patagonia, Thule and Wolverine World Wide, Inc.
Did you know?
Fewer than 18 percent of Americans recreate outside once per week, and less than 50 percent report getting outside even once per year, according to The Outdoor Foundation’s Outdoor Participation Report which surveys 22,000 Americans annually about their outdoor activities.
Time in nature provides benefits of improved mental health, reduced depression, reduced anxiety and stress, improved social connection, and, if recreating outdoors, improved physical health.
About the grant
The inaugural Thrive Outside Communities were chosen by the Outdoor Foundation’s board of directors based on written applications, location visits, in-person interviews and third-party consultant research. Each Thrive Outside Community grant requires the recipient community to provide a 1:1 funding match in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the network. One organization in each community will manage the grant and facilitate the work of the network partners.
The Outdoor Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Outdoor Industry Association, is a national 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to getting people outside for their health, the health of communities and the health of the outdoor industry. Through community investment and groundbreaking research, the Outdoor Foundation works with many partners to get more people outside more often. Visit outdoorfoundation.org for more information.
The RIVERSPORT Foundation’s mission is to inspire excellence, enhance communities, and change lives through Olympic watersports and outdoor urban adventures. A 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization, OKCBF relies on grants as well as contributions to fund initiatives benefiting underserved youth, military veterans, disabled athletes and seniors. OKCBF is also an official US Olympic and Paralympic Training Site providing support for Olympic Hopefuls training in both rowing and canoe/kayak. The Foundation has developed Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District as a center of community activity and iconic architecture, and also has programs at Lake Overholser and Lake Hefner.