Timucuan Parks Foundation
July 17, 2021
The money will help the nonprofit fund its ongoing health initiatives
Timucuan Parks Foundation, the non-profit supporter of Jacksonville’s state and national parks and the city preservation parks, has received a $5,000 grant from REI Co-op. TPF will be using the grant to help fund its Healthy Living: Fresh Air, Fitness, Friendship and Fun program designed to reach non-traditional and diverse audiences to show them how outdoor recreation in preservation parks can benefit everyone both mentally and physically.
“Throughout the year, we host walks and events in our ‘wilderness’ parks and preserves for different age groups and organizations,” said Felicia Boyd, program and outreach director for TPF. “This grant will help us to address health and equity issues and allow us to work alongside our park partners and other organizations to provide more programming opportunities to historically underrepresented audiences.”
The Healthy Living program was created to serve those who may not know about the preservation parks and the health benefits that being outdoors can provide. TPF’s program targets groups including seniors, veterans, women, urban teens, and youth with special needs. The organization puts together a variety of events that are specifically programmed for each of the groups.
For seniors, the walks are done in partnership with AARP and focus on the therapeutic effects a walk in nature can provide, including combating loneliness, isolation and depression that some seniors can experience. The events designed for veterans are done in partnership with the VA and the “MOVE” weight-loss program and showcase how a walk can provide de-stressing benefits. TPF partners with the North Florida Trail Blazers of the Florida Trail Association to get more women out on the trails, including “Beginning Hiking: Women Only” hikes for women of all ages.
TPF also partners with youth organizations, including the Groundwork Green Team Summer Youth Corps and the North Florida School of Special Education. This summer, TPF and their park partners will host urban teens and youth with special needs for kayaking, hiking, fishing, and service-learning projects in the Timucuan Preserve, Dutton Island Preserve, Kingsley Plantation, Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, and American Beach.
REI is a member-owned co-op and invests deeply in the outdoor community, supporting efforts that steward and maintain local trails and public lands and connect underrepresented groups to the outdoors.
About Timucuan Parks Foundation
The Timucuan Parks Foundation is a nonprofit organization that preserves, promotes and enhances Jacksonville’s natural areas through community engagement, education and enjoyment. The foundation originated in 1999 with the Preservation Project Jacksonville, Inc. to identify and assist in acquiring the most vulnerable and environmentally sensitive lands in Duval County. The acquisition of lands created the largest urban park system in the United States. The Timucuan Parks Foundation works with its park partners, including the National Park Service, Florida State Parks and the City of Jacksonville, and other community partners to promote environmental stewardship, the health benefits of the parks and preserves, and an appreciation for Jacksonville’s special outdoor spaces. For more information, visit timucuanparks.org.
About REI Co-op
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 20 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 168 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.