The Conservation Alliance Travels to Grand Rapids for First Backyard Collective Event in Grand Rapids

August 22, 2018

BEND, Ore. (August 22, 2018) – More than 50 volunteers from five member companies participated in The Conservation Alliance’s Backyard Collective stewardship event in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Tuesday, August 14.

The volunteers worked in support of Grand Rapids Whitewater to remove invasive Honeysuckle from approximately two acres of Riverside Park, the city’s largest park with over two miles of Grand River Shoreline.

Over 50 storm drains were cleaned, marked, and inventoried in the nearby Creston neighborhood. This important work ensures storm water makes it into the drains instead of flooding local streets and makes residents aware that the drain flows directly into the Grand River. The group worked to spread mulch and maintain one of the parks native rain gardens. The rain gardens play a critical role in cleaning and absorbing urban stormwater run off before it enters the Grand River.

Conservation Alliance member companies Chaco Footwear, Founders Brewing, Merrell, Moosejaw and Timberland participated in the event. Member company Clif Bar contributed bars to the event.

“On Tuesday, we saw local craft beer and outdoor gear manufacturers work with grassroots conservation organizations to make their backyard a better place – what an awesome day! It’s inspiring to see our members continue to work together for the greater good,” said Kirsten Blackburn, Advocacy Manager for The Conservation Alliance.

The mission of The Conservation Alliance is to engage businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. The Conservation Alliance launched the Backyard Collective Program to give member company employees in the outdoor industry the opportunity to work together on a local stewardship project while learning more about organizations that receive funding from the group.

Conservation Alliance grantees Conservation Resource Alliance, Grand Rapids Whitewater, and Ohio Environmental Council joined in a Grantee Fair to share current information and call-to-action about their program.

“This was our first Backyard Collective event in Michigan, and we are impressed by the turnout, and the work the group completed,” said John Sterling, executive director of The Conservation Alliance. “Our Michigan-based member companies achieved their goal of coming together to make a difference in their community by completing many important stewardship projects at Grand Rapids Riverside Park.”

For more information about Backyard Collective events, please contact Abby Becker, Backyard Collective Outreach Coordinator at abby@conservationalliance.com.

About The Conservation Alliance
The Conservation Alliance is an organization of like-minded businesses whose collective contributions support grassroots environmental organizations and their efforts to protect wild places where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Alliance funds have played a key role in protecting rivers, trails, wildlands and climbing areas. Membership in the Alliance is open to all companies who care about protecting our most threatened wild places for habitat and outdoor recreation. Since its inception in 1989, The Conservation Alliance has contributed more than $20 million, awarded 626 grants, helped to protect 51 million acres of wildlands; protect 3,102 miles of rivers; stop or remove 30 dams; designate five marine reserves; and purchase 13 climbing areas. For complete information on The Conservation Alliance, see: www.conservationalliance.com.