An outdoor adventure group and a trail volunteer organization have each been awarded grants by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. Latinos Aventureros en las Carolinas will receive a $5,000 grant to stock El Closet, a borrowing closet with outdoor gear for members of the Hispanic community. The Carolina Mountain Club will receive $11,200 for trail maintenance tools and additional equipment.
“Creating enriching experiences along the Blue Ridge Parkway and in the outdoors overall is part of the Foundation’s mission,” said Carolyn Ward, CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. “We are so proud to award these grants to a group introducing more people to the joys of nature and an organization that has spent countless hours bettering the trails along the Parkway.”
Latinos Aventureros en las Carolinas is a group that supports and advocates for community members to enjoy adventures outdoors, particularly with outreach to the Hispanic community. The grant will help stock El Closet with camping gear, backpacks, and more, so more people can discover their favorite types of outdoor excursions without the upfront expense of purchasing equipment.
“After almost a year of bringing people together in the outdoors through events, we have noticed a need for an outdoor supply borrowing closet,” said Vivianette Ortiz, with Los Aventureros. “Now we can offer all the basic necessities for our participants to have fun and enjoy the outdoors. El Closet will give many people the opportunity to have camping experiences, go hiking, try backpacking, and volunteer at our clean-up events.”
The volunteers of the Carolina Mountain Club maintain and repair more than 420 miles of trails throughout Western North Carolina. Approximately 50 percent of the organization’s annual maintenance work is performed on trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The grant will allow the club to purchase tools, materials, and personal protective gear to continue their work, which ensures safer trails for all visitors.
The Carolina Mountain Club is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year. More information, including how to volunteer, is available at CarolinaMountainClub.org.
Latinos Aventureros en las Carolinas hosts group adventures. To learn more, visit LatinosAventureros.org.