Our Two For The Trails Grant Recipients
One of Our Proudest Contributions
In 2020, we donated $300,000 to our partnered organizations all across the United States. At the time we actively searched out projects and organizations to support. However, we realize that our reach would be limited only to the projects that we were aware of, and that there were hundreds and possibly thousands of other deserving projects out there. We want to make as big an impact as possible and give any project that involves outdoor recreation the opportunity to receive funding. So at the beginning of this year we decided to change our program to a grant to give everyone a chance to have a piece of the pie.
While Two For The Trails is the brainchild of founder Bill Shufelt, it wouldn’t be possible without our amazing and innovative team. Great things happen when ideas are allowed to flow, and this program is a testament to that. You could say we’re pretty proud of this program, but you can’t blame us - it has turned into something much grander than we ever expected.
The projects supported through this program range from big wilderness destinations to smaller city parks. They encompass a variety of sports, from mountain biking to hiking to rock climbing, and are geographically diverse. While we originally committed to donating $500,000 this year, we were able to allocate a whopping $1,000,000 to trail and outdoor recreation projects all across the United States.
“Athletic Brewing is ultimately about helping people live active and healthy lifestyles,” says Alex Showerman, director of nonprofits here at Athletic. “What we know is that communities that have access to trails tend to be healthier communities. So we want to make sure that we‘re supporting trails all over and helping people have access. We really wanted to make sure that we were hitting everything from adventures that people can aspire to, to trails that people can easily access from their home.”
Showerman emphasizes the importance of supporting these trail projects, noting that the organizations who are developing and improving trails are thriving communities themselves. “These are people. They come out to support these trail-based organizations, they are proud to be members, are proud to show up to trail days, and local businesses are proud to sponsor and support them. These organizations touch everybody. We’re going in and directly building community, which is ultimately what a brand should be about.”
Our journey through the development of the Two For The Trails grant program made us realize just how big an impact our Athletic community is capable of having. These projects not only support the healthy lifestyle of an individual and have positive effects within the community, but they also overlap with racial justice, diversity, inclusion, historical preservation, and an increased connection with nature. It’s so much more than just building a trail, we are building community.
“There is so much enthusiasm and so much need [for programs like these],” says Showerman, “I’d like to see more companies supporting trail programs.”
We received over 140 applications requesting 4.5 million dollars. We are happy and proud to be able to support 62 of these projects. And we feel like this is just the beginning.