Spokane organizations receive $168K in grant funds to get kids outdoors

Spokane County Park
D. Lok // Unsplash

SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced $4.5 million in grant funding to get kids to explore the region’s parks and outdoor areas.

The ‘No Child Left Inside’ grants aim to improve outdoor education and recreation opportunities to under-served communities across the state.

“Kids need to get outside–for their physical, mental and spiritual health,” said Peter Mayer, director from Washington State Parks. “These grants help level the playing field by providing opportunities for so many who otherwise don’t have a way to experience the outdoors. We hope the grants also will help create a positive future for these kids.”

Spokane County received $168,500, which was awarded to Camp Fire Inland Northwest Council, Spokane Conservation District and STIX Diabetes Programs.

Camp Fire Inland Northwest Council received $75,000, which will go towards expanding outdoor camps for Spokane’s urban youth. The funds will pay fees and transportation for 300 kids experiencing poverty, who are Native American or LGBTQ+ to attend Camp Dart-Lo or overnight camp at Camp Sweyolokan. Kids will and will go hiking, boating, swimming, fishing, practice archery, cooking and much more. The Council will contribute $25,000 in their own grants.

Spokane Conservation District received $18,500 for its Outdoor Learning Labs—educational materials related to forestry, pond ecology, wildlife, orienteering, soils, gardening and insect life. The grant will pay for transportation to Riverside State Park and the labs will support groups of 30 students, with smaller kits available in backpacks for families to explore the park. The District will contribute $5,000 in donations.

STIX Diabetes Programs will get $75,000 to empower kids with diabetes to rise above their illness, get out of their comfort zones and enjoy the outdoors at YMCA Camp Reed on Fan Lake, where they will go hiking, fishing, canoeing, swimming, kayaking, adventuring and do outdoors crafts and more. STIX will contribute $40,000 in cash donations.

According to Washington State Parks, the ‘No Child Left Inside’ grants will get more than 50,000 kids to spend close to 1.5 million hours outdoors.

For a full list of the grants by county, visit the Recreation and Conservation Office website.