REI Co-op announced a new nationwide initiative to ensure every American has immediate access to outdoor spaces.
Dubbed “Outside in 5,” this is a community-led initiative that supports local projects and national legislation in pursuit of REI’s goal of getting 100 million people outside in five minutes or less, no matter where they live.
REI Co-Op’s Outside in 5 Campaign
The co-op will also be putting $5 from every co-op membership towards the REI Cooperative Action Fund, which supports organizations and projects that will help everyone get Outside in 5.
Eric Artz, chief executive officer at REI, said this is the result of decades of planning decisions that oftentimes served to further isolate and marginalize underrepresented communities.
“At REI, we believe everyone should have access to outdoor space wherever they live. That’s why we’re making a long-term commitment to get 100 million people outside in five minutes or less,” he said.
The co-op launched this initiative last July 12 in Anacostia Park in Washington, D.C.
The Anacostia neighborhood is a historically Black community and home to this neighborhood national park. Despite its namesake park, the community has limited access to green space.
In Anacostia, as will be true everywhere REI introduces Outside in 5, the work is community-led to address its specific needs.
Friends of Anacostia Park, with the support of REI and the REI Cooperative Action Fund, is working to reconnect the historically Black community of Anacostia to the national park in their own backyard.
Data from the Trust for Public Land show the U.S. is rich in enthusiasm for the outdoors, but poor in access and infrastructure—especially for those communities that have been historically and systemically disenfranchised.
Over a third of people living in America do not have a public park or space to recreate within a 10-minute walk from home.
For more information, or to find out how you can join this effort, visit rei.com/outside-in-5.
Images and content courtesy of REI Co-op
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