PITTSBURGH, Aug. 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Public Lands, the new outdoor specialty store concept from DICK'S Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS), today announced the creation of The Public Lands Fund, designed to support local and national initiatives that protect new lands, improve existing lands, break down the barriers of access to outdoor experiences and improve inclusion and equity in the outdoors.
As part of this commitment, Public Lands, as member of 1% for the Planet, is donating one percent of all gross sales to The Public Lands Fund. The Public Lands Fund, an initiative of The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation 501(c)(3) charity, will partner with an initial set of ten environmental nonprofit organizations.
The first Public Lands store, in the Pittsburgh area, will have its grand opening on the weekend of September 24-26. A second store will open in Columbus in October.
The first local nonprofit partners supported by The Public Lands Fund in the Pittsburgh region are:
- Allegheny Land Trust, a land conservation nonprofit that has helped local people save local land in the greater Pittsburgh region since 1993 (its lands are here). The Public Lands Fund is supporting Allegheny Land Trust's initial safety and infrastructure improvements at Churchill Valley Greenway, a recently acquired 151-acre green space east of Pittsburgh.
- Venture Outdoors, which offers programming that helps remove barriers and create access to outdoor experiences. It provides outdoor experiences year-round to help people practice wellness in nature. The Public Lands Fund is supporting Venture Outdoors' Youth Outdoor Learning Lab, which connects kids to outdoor experiences by providing physical and mental wellness, STEM and environmental education, and outdoor industry exploration.
The first local nonprofit partners supported by The Public Lands Fund in the Columbus region are:
- The Arc of Appalachia acquires, stewards and protects wildlands in Ohio and has saved over 7000 acres of land in its quarter century of stewardship. The Public Lands Fund is supporting the effort to preserve approximately 618.442 acres of habitat within the lower Scioto River watershed that will protect an ancient indigenous earthwork site at Tremper Mound, the largest unprotected Hopewell mound in the state of Ohio, built nearly 1,800 years ago.
- Project Learning Tree® is an environmental education initiative that takes students outdoors to learn and connect with nature in urban, suburban, and rural settings. The program inspires educators and youth leaders to take action for sustainable forests and introduces young people to careers in natural resources. The Public Lands Fund is supporting Project Learning Tree in the Columbus area to help connect urban youth to outdoor learning opportunities, providing resources for transportation, program costs and materials.
- Friends of Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks is a non-profit organization with a mission to enhance public use and enjoyment of metro parks, seek out public support, and advocate for metro parks for current and future generations. The Public Lands Fund is supporting Friends of Metro Parks work bringing meaningful outdoor experiences to participants with My Brother's Keeper, an initiative to address opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color.
The initial national nonprofit organizations supported by The Public Lands Fund are:
- Alaska Wilderness League, which works to protect Alaska's public lands by advocating for and acting in support of biodiversity, wilderness, Indigenous communities, and cleaner energy. The 19.6 million-acre Arctic Refuge has immense recreational and ecological value and is critical cultural and subsistence land for the Gwich'in people, which centers around the Porcupine caribou. The Public Lands Fund supports the Alaska Wilderness League's work in advocating for the permanent protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and working with the Gwich'in people to protect those cultural, ecological and recreational significant lands from extraction and development.
- The Conservation Alliance, which harnesses the power of business to fund and advocate for the protection of North America's wild places. Its vision is a planet where wild places, wildlife, and people thrive together. The Public Lands Fund is a Pinnacle Member.
- The Conservation Lands Foundation, which exists to protect and expand America's National Conservation Lands that are vital for recreation, Indigenous culture, the planet's biodiversity, and the health of our communities and climate. It channels the power and wisdom of its national network of community-based conservation organizations (Friends Grassroots Network) in the urgent fight to conserve America's remaining public lands. Because when we protect the land, we protect our future. The Public Lands Fund supports the Conservation Lands Foundation by providing resources and funding to grassroots conservation organizations protecting, restoring and increasing National Conservation Lands across the U.S.
- Student Conservation Association, which builds the next generation of conservation leaders. SCA accomplishes this through paid service and stewardship jobs for youth and young adults on U.S. public lands. The Public Lands Fund is supporting SCA's Fall 2021 BIPOC youth affinity crew in Pittsburgh, where student participants will work with a variety of local land management agencies in restoring and improving public green spaces.
- The Trust for Public Land, which creates parks and community greenspaces and preserves land to create healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Its goal is for everyone in the U.S. to be within a 10-minute walk to a public greenspace. The Public Lands Fund is a partner for The Trust for Public Land's Schoolyard Initiative, which is a transformative solution for helping to solve park inequity by creating access to a quality close-to-home park for 20 million Americans.
"At Public Lands, our mission is to celebrate and protect public lands for all," said Todd Spaletto, President, Public Lands. "We want to do this in a meaningful way and partner with organizations that have already accomplished – and continue to do – incredible work to ensure our public lands and outdoor spaces are clean, preserved and open for all. Moving forward, we're going to be working with our nonprofit partners to support their missions and collaborate on programs that get more people into the outdoors and take care of our local, state and national parks and recreation spaces. In fact, we're proud that our Pittsburgh-area store team has already logged 224 hours in volunteering with local nonprofit partners doing trail restoration, clean up and breaking new trails in local Pittsburgh parks and lands."
About Public Lands
Public Lands seeks to celebrate and protect public lands for all. With retail locations designed to inspire and fuel a need to get outside, Public Lands is dedicated to providing products and experiences to any and all explorers in an effort to grow the number of people who love and seek to protect our public lands. Public Lands will open in Pittsburgh in September 2021 and in Columbus in October 2021. Public Lands will also have an e-commerce site for explorers outside of those markets. For more information, visit www.publiclands.com.
About The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation
The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with a mission to inspire and enable sports participation. It was created by DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. as a private corporate foundation to support DICK'S charitable and philanthropic activities.
Contact: DICK'S Sporting Goods and Public Lands – [email protected]
SOURCE DICK'S Sporting Goods