Impact Giving | $150K Awarded to Mountain Workshops to Get More Youth Outside

Through forward-thinking advocacy from Mountaineers members and strong support from the Washington State Legislature, the No Child Left Inside (NCLI) grant program received record funding in the 2021 state budget. We are elated to announce that The Mountaineers has once again been selected to receive $150K in grant funding through NCLI. This will help youth who have been historically excluded from the outdoors get outside with our Mountain Workshops program.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
August 01, 2021

Thanks to the advocacy and engagement of our outdoor community, conservation and outdoor recreation received strong support from our State Legislature this budget cycle. Earlier this year we shared the great news that outdoor programs in Washington State received record levels of funding, including $4.5 million dedicated to the No Child Left Inside (NCLI) grant program.

After a rigorous application process, we are elated to announce that The Mountaineers was selected as one of 73 outdoor organizations to receive a grant out of 117 applicants this session. Even more exciting, we are one of 23 applicants who were awarded Tier 3 funding, and will receive $150K in grant funding over the next two years to directly support Mountain Workshops.  

Mountain Workshops is The Mountaineers outdoor-focused outreach program that helps us achieve our mission by ensuring that youth who face significant barriers to outdoor recreation can experience our region’s wild places and the many benefits time outside provides. The program was launched in the same year we achieved 501(c)(3) status in 2011 and has since supported over 10,000 youth to get outside. In an earlier edition of our Impact Giving online series, we shared how fundraising at The Mountaineers improves outdoor access through Mountain Workshops and what they are all about.

To better understand the program, it's helpful to understand its primary goal: to provide as many youth as we can with year-round opportunities to recreate on public lands. Some of the activities we facilitate include: hiking, rock climbing, backpacking, kayaking, camping, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. In addition to time outside, our program fosters the health and well-being of participants by reducing screen time, promoting teamwork, and building confidence.

After the initial slowdown due to COVID-19, Mountain Workshops have successfully re-launched under the Washington State guidance recommended for outdoor programming. In early November, 2020, The Mountaineers hosted a Mountain Workshop with Soccer without Borders to Heather Lake near Wenatchee. On the trip we learned it was one young woman's 7th day in the USA, she had not met anyone in the group before, and it was her very first time seeing snow. By the end of the day, she was excitedly hiking down the trail, hand in hand with other group members, and cheerfully singing songs. In another Mountain Workshop that took place in Magnuson Park just this month, when a group of young children were brainstorming the 10 essentials, they listed "friends". We would argue that's a strong 11th contender!

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Heather Lake Mountain Workshops hike with Soccer without Borders

The 2021 legislative session is the second time Mountain Workshops was awarded a Tier 3 grant. In the previous cycle, NCLI funding helped us to serve 1,500 youth, even through a global pandemic that disrupted our programming. Thanks to the critical support provided through the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office, we are well positioned to expand on our existing services by increasing staff time to support the project, offer more programming opportunities to returning partners, and we’ll have capacity to bring on new partners, too. This year’s grant will enable Mountain Workshops to serve 3,000 youth across our branches through 200 program days that empower at least 15,000 hours of time outside over the next two years. In light of the pandemic, where kids are spending even more time at home and in front of screens, this type of programming is more important than ever.

Philanthropy Makes It Possible

We are very appreciative of the No Child Left Inside program and the budget leaders who make it possible! Washington’s investment in the NCLI program will provide support for more nonprofits and youth-serving agencies across the state than any other year in its history, and ultimately get more kids outside. The Mountaineers are also incredibly grateful for Mountain Workshops funding received from our other foundation supporters, including Bradley Family Foundation, Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation, REI Co-op, and Treeline Foundation.


The lion’s share of our outreach program funding is supported through grants made available by these incredible organizations. The remainder of the funds needed for Mountain Workshops are met by individuals who provide unrestricted gifts to The Mountaineers Annual Fund through seasonal campaigns and special events. The number of youth we can serve is directly tied to how much funding we can secure. These funds make it possible for us to cover staffing costs to oversee 200+ outings a year and organize the volunteers who give more than 1,000 hours to the program, purchase gear and supplies needed to deliver meaningful educational programming, and provide transportation to state and national parks to introduce youth to public lands, many for the very first time. These opportunities would not be possible, especially for our historically excluded youth, without the funding from NCLI and like-minded people and organizations that support Mountain Workshops.

How you can help

Mountain Workshops was born from the reality that not all people have equal access to quality time outside. Our program is well-equipped to address regularly cited barriers to outdoor participation, including financial barriers like access to appropriate clothing and equipment and transportation through our donor-funded Gear Library, as well as expertise and leadership to guide safe and enjoyable outdoor experiences.

If you’d like to help Mountain Workshops continue to receive the funding we need to expand programming and get more youth outside, there are there easy ways you can make a difference:

  • Help ensure future wins for outdoor programming by thanking your legislators for a job well done and for investing in the outdoors. We’ve made it easy to thank your legislators.
  • Inspired to make a gift? You can do so online at mountaineers.org/donate or call 206-521-6006 to learn how to make a gift of securities or direct a grant from your Donor Advised Fund. 
  • Interested in volunteering? Become a Qualified Youth Leader to participate in trips and activities associated with Outreach Programs for The Mountaineers.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, gifts made to The Mountaineers® are 100% tax-deductible. Questions about making a gift or getting more involved, contact development@mountaineers.org.

Main Image: Mountain Workshops with Chrysalis High School at Dungeness Spit in early 2020.