Project Outside Exceeds Fundraising Goal

November 16, 2020

The Roanoke Outside Foundation initiative is still accepting donations and opens the first round of grant applications this week.

ROANOKE, VA (Nov. 16, 2020) — The Roanoke Outside Foundation has exceed its $100,000 goal for Project Outside raising $107,000. The campaign, launched in August, is the first of its kind and will fund the maintenance and development of outdoor assets and support outdoor-related businesses in the greater Roanoke Region of Virginia.

“The outdoors has become a sanctuary during the pandemic as a safe place to play,” said Pete Eshelman, director of the Foundation. “Many of the region’s outdoor spaces have seen upward of a 200 percent increase in usage that has created rapid wear and tear on well-used trails, greenways, campgrounds, and river access points. Project Outside was conceived to keep these assets healthy and useful by engaging businesses and outdoor users to contribute and help address these needs quickly.”

“Long before the pandemic made the need greater, our 2018 study indicated adequate funding for maintenance of key regional outdoor assets was a concern,” Eshelman said. “We rely on the regional brand Roanoke Outside has built around the outdoors to attract residents, businesses, and tourists. We can’t let the brand suffer because the assets are deteriorating.”

“The pandemic would have been the perfect excuse to say, ‘nothing can be done.’ Instead we figured out how to continue to build the outdoor brand,” said Beth Doughty, president of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “It is gratifying to see how many business and individuals recognized how important the outdoor economy is to our region’s economic success and supported Project Outside.”

Grant applications are available now and are due January 30, 2021. Grants are available in three categories:

  • Maintenance of identified key regional outdoor assets
  • New outdoor infrastructure projects
  • Support of for-profit businesses or non-profit organizations operating in the outdoor sector

The application is available at https://www.roanokeoutside.com/project-outside/grant-application.

Industry partners are: Alcova Mortgage, Anthem Cross Blue Shield, Blue Mountain Adventures, Blue Ridge Hydroponics, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Cardinal Bicycle, Deschutes Brewery, Downshift Bikes, East Coasters, Fleet Feet Sports, GO Outside Festival, Hydro Flask, Orvis, Roanoke Mountain Adventures,  Runabout Sports, Treetop Quest Explore Park, and Twin River Outfitters. In addition, nearly 100 individuals and dozens of local companies donated to support the region’s outdoor narrative.

Contributions can still be made at https://www.roanokeoutside.com/project-outside/.



Roanoke Outside creates economic growth by leveraging natural assets to attract investment and talent. Through business attraction, signature outdoor events, strategic partnerships, social offerings, and infrastructure investment Roanoke Outside seeks to establish the Roanoke Region as a place where businesses want to locate and where people want to live. Roanoke Outside manages www.roanokeoutside.com and a portfolio of brand-building events that include Blue Ridge Marathon, GO Outside Festival (GO Fest), and Go Cross Cyclocross Race. The Roanoke Outside Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization and is part of the Roanoke Regional Partnership family, which also includes Get2KnowNoke.