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Outdoor Equity Fund grants support for Youth Programs


New Mexico’s Outdoor Recreation Division announced $1 million in Outdoor Equity Fund grants to 30 organizations and public agencies around the state, and five tribal communities, on Dec. 26.

The fund was created by the state legislature in 2019 and has been disbursed $5 million to 211 organizations since, according to the state Economic Development Department. The grants support outdoor programs fostering “stewardship and respect for New Mexico’s land, water and cultural heritage.”

“The organizations and communities receiving funding for their youth programs are not only fostering the next generation of outdoor leaders by introducing new experiences but also planting the seed of the possibility of a career in outdoor recreation,” acting EDD Secretary Jon Clark stated in a news release. “These 30 programs actively introduce 6,498 young New Mexicans to the outdoors through day hikes, hunting and tanning, bike rides, ecosystem monitoring, adaptive equine camps, fly fishing, acequia cultural preservation and more.”

The awards announced the day after Christmas were the second round of awards from the OEF, totaling $1,052,347, with grants ranging from $5,000 to $40,000. The recipients are expected to contribute matching funds totaling $722,301.50.

In southern New Mexico, the grants include:

Animas Public Schools (Hidalgo County): $40,000 for environmental and climate education and field trips.

Gila Resources Information Project (Grant County): $20,000 for the Silver City Watershed Keepers Nature Discovery Summer Camp, a week-long program for children in grades 4 thru 6.

New Mexico Youth Conservation Foundation (Grant County): $33,680 for nonprofit organization providing outdoor programming for schools, nonprofits and others.

Public Lands Interpretive Association (Doña Ana County): $40,000 for the Whiptail Trails Club, providing in-class visits and field trips for middle school students in Title I schools and in rural areas.