REI donates $20,000 locally before doors open: 3 area nonprofits receive grants
Outdoor sporting goods retailer REI is set to open March 1 at the Markets of Town Center, but several area nonprofits already are benefiting from $20,000 in grants from the company.
Staff at the Jacksonville store, the first in Florida, will formally present stewardship grants March 3 to Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association Jax for $10,000, St. Johns Riverkeeper for $5,000 and the Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation for $5,000.
The company supports nonprofit partners that focus on environmental conservation and promote active volunteerism through annual grant funding.
REI claims to donate millions of dollars to support conservation nationwide and encourages its members, customers and employees to volunteer time to support this effort.
“The grant is a huge help for our 501c3. We have a lot of tools that we use for trail maintenance at Hanna Park, Tillie Fowler Park and Davis Park at Nocatee and the money will help us purchase a utility trailer to make easier to transport that equipment to work sites,” said Dan Zaffuto, area Southern Off-Road president.
“REI is really making a commitment to the community. They not only awarded us the grant but they have also pledged all of the new employees to help with our trail-building project at Hanna Park (on) Feb. 23,” said Zaffuto.
RET employees will move into the store the week of March 18 and wrap up the first week by volunteering at Hanna Park for the association.
The association will use its grant for volunteer trail-building at Hanna Park, Tillie Fowler Park and Nocatee. St. Johns Riverkeeper will use its grant for river cleanup projects. Timucuan Trail Parks will use its grant for volunteer stewardship and Adopt-a-Park programs.