Kickstart My Park!
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit in beautiful St. George, Utah. I had a full plate with both taking photos for the event and running the Entrada Outdoor booth speaking with folks about the Adventure Responsibly mission.
The conference was filled great people and great speakers, all centered on the goal of preserving the past while working on plans for the future. More than anything, in my conversations with folks at the booth, I had the confirmation that the Adventure Responsibly message isn’t only needed, but it rings true to people. As I spoke about outdoor popularity outpacing awareness, the notion clicked with people as they appeared to have a lightbulb turn on as they said “that’s exactly what’s happening!” or “I have been looking for a way to phrase my thoughts and that’s exactly it!” It was wonderful working with like-minded people who care for the outdoors and having the mission solidified.
Beyond the booth, I was able to listen to a few of the key-note speakers. Of which, two specifically stuck out to me: Jeff Bradybaugh, the superintendent for Zion National Park and David Vela the deputy director of the NPS. Jeff discussed the pressing needs of Zion and the backlog of expensive yet crucial projects that need funding. Both men discussed how the NPS cannot function but for good people to help in active preservation. The message that the Parks need us was very clear.
As I listened and mulled over their words for the next day, the idea hit me that while Entrada Outdoor donates a portion to the NP Foundation, it’s not enough. I began to think what more could be done to help these places we love and were described as “Our birthright and heritage” by director Vela. So, what can be done to help? I started to think about crowdfunding and to my knowledge, a crowdfunding for the parks has not been done. So, with a Motely Crue song that popped into my head, the idea of Kickstart My Park was born and launched. Having just heard about the needs for Zion, this first round will be focused on that specific park with 100% of the donations going to their official charity; the Zion Forever Project.
I got a positive response, but also some interesting feedback on this – mostly from (a very few) people who felt individual contributions are best and shunned the idea of crowdfunding (but didn’t give much of a reason why). Perhaps they fear that a crowdfunding platform would take a percentage of the donations, or who knows what, but I have to disagree. Crowdfunding, specifically for a charity, is an awesome way for people to come together and raise a (hopefully) large lump-sum that can then be sent to the park. It’s a way for people to come together on a goal and see something accomplished and with how it has been set up through GoFundMe, 100% of the donations will go directly to the Zion Forever Project.
If you can make a donation and share what is trying to be done, please click here. If you can only share on your social platforms, that helps too!
The current goal is $25,000 and I hope we far surpass that number. Who knows, if we get this thing going, maybe we can get Motley Crue to change the lyrics to their song and put on a benefit concert in the park? Let's make it happen!