Today, the nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI, announced its support of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 through a multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The partnership kicks off this week with the launch of Find Your Park, a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service and setting the stage for the next 100 years.
In its role as “Official Outdoor Retailer” of the National Park Centennial celebration, the co-op aims to inspire, guide and outfit people with a passion to explore these national treasures more deeply. The national parks are living proof of the American spirit of exploration and discovery, but there can be more to experiencing the parks than simply being there. For that reason, for both experienced visitors and first-time explorers, REI will focus on helping people experience the parks more deeply.
“REI began in the national parks. Seventy-six years ago our founders and their friends searched for an ice axe to climb Mount Rainier, and the co-op was born,” said Jerry Stritzke, REI president and CEO. “Spending time in these treasured places often creates a deep and lasting connection with the outdoors. We’re incredibly lucky to have access to them, and part of REI’s job is to invest our resources into the places that inspire our members, and people everywhere, to enjoy their lives outside.”
Find Your Park encourages people to find their own personal connections within the network of national parks and public lands. Through 2017, REI plans to offer expanded gear and programs tailored for national parks through 140 stores and REI.com. To kick off Find Your Park, REI will also launch five new REI Adventures trips at national parks. In honor of the National Park Service Centennial, REI Adventures will donate 10 percent of the retail price for each of its national park destinations to the National Park Foundation through 2016.
Stritzke continued, “REI is aiming to connect people everywhere, including our community of 5.5 million members, with America’s greatest natural spaces – in particular the hidden gems. We’re channeling a good portion of our support for the centennial into stewarding these places so that their beauty can be enjoyed for generations.”
Discover National Parks with REI
Today, travelers can explore 35 unforgettable trips in 16 national parks with REI Adventures, a leader in guided active adventure travel. The five new trips launched for the centennial invite adventurers to hike in Capitol Reef and Escalante, hike and raft in the Great Smokies, backpack in the Rockies and kayak in the Tetons. National park itineraries range from three-day weekend getaways to immersive experiences up to 12 days.
Adventurers looking for outdoor opportunities closer to home can discover classes and outings through REI Outdoor School, which offers more than 300 experiences in national parks. Led by expert instructors, participants can snowshoe in the moonlight at Mount Rainier, stand-up paddle board with the Statue of Liberty in full view or climb at Great Falls Park.
Additional information about REI’s partnership is available at rei.com/nationalparks. More announcements will be shared in the coming months, including how REI will extend its support of more than 300 non-profits who create access to more than 600 inspiring outdoor spaces.
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 5.5 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips and outstanding customer service. REI has 140 stores in 33 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/outlet or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs 150 custom-designed itineraries on every continent. REI’s Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner- to advanced-level courses 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.