California’s Secretary for Natural Resources recently announced $14.9 million in first-ever grant awards to expand access to cultural and natural resources for youth in underserved communities throughout the state.

All the grant funding—100 percent—will support educational, job training and outreach programs, and small capital asset projects located in and providing benefit to underserved and low-income communities across California.

“Helping kids from all our communities get outdoors and into nature supports their physical, emotional and mental health,” said Secretary Wade Crowfoot. “Governor Newsom has been clear on our goal: Enable all Californians to get outdoors and explore our natural places, historical sites, and diverse cultures. Launching this grant program today is a big step toward this vision.”

The Youth Community Access Program first-ever grants will fund projects from San Diego to Siskiyou counties, with 65 projects that bring youth in underserved communities into parks, nature and places of cultural and historic landmarks.

Camp Phoenix is one of the organizations set to receive funding.

The Youth Community Access projects include a vast variety of efforts to develop youth leadership while sailing the ocean, constructing trailheads, exploring the Gold County, restoring a fish hatchery and other activities that encourage getting outdoors.

Youth Community Access is a grant program funded by the Proposition 64 marijuana tax to support public, educational, job training and outreach programs, as well as small capital projects and clean vehicle purchases that expand youth access to cultural and natural resources. Awards are prioritized for communities disproportionately affected by past federal and state drug policies, as well as other underserved communities.

In 2016, Californian voters passed the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64), which allocates marijuana tax dollars to the Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account (YEPEITA) to promote youth wellness. Each year, 5 percent of the YEPEITA fund is specified to support the California Natural Resources Agency’s Youth Community Access Program.

Camp Phoenix will receive $153,200 to help us expand our year-round excursions.

Full List of Awards

  • Adventure Risk Challenge, $50,000, Youth Outdoor & Literacy Programming in Rural Merced County
  • Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory, $295,533, Nikan Tochan
  • Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos, $300,000, Van Purchases, Cultural Field Trips and Programs
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, $300,000, Youth Access to Mendocino Redwoods and Native American Culture
  • Building Youth Tomorrow Today, $200,000, Youth in Agriculture for Health
  • California Health Collaborative, $300,000, Growing Resilience Through Outdoor Wellness (GROW)
  • Camp Fire Angeles, $106,925, Camp Fire’s DeForest Nature Ambassadors
  • CCC Foundation, $261,085, Wilderness Access Program
  • Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI), $300,000, The CERI Youth Environmental Justice/Green Careers Project
  • City of El Monte, $300,000, Junior Recreation Leader Volunteer Program Teen Nature and Cultural Adventures
  • City of Redding, $56,970, Shasta Youth Outdoor Leadership Initiative
  • Coastal Watershed Council, $80,048, Watershed Rangers
  • Community Coalition, $251,364, 30 Years of Youth Power in South LA: Resistance, Resilience and Reclamation
  • Delhi Center, $254,731, Adventures in Nature with Teens
  • Earth Team, $237,000, Sustainable Youth Internship Program
  • East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, $300,000, Lion’s Pride Youth Program
  • East Bay Asian Youth Center, $293,817, Camp Thrive
  • Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps, $300,000, ESCC Range Program
  • Heart and Soul Design Communications Center, $57,250, We Are One
  • HOMEY, $299,490, Kalpulli Outdoors
  • Horn of Africa Community, $300,000, The PARC (Park Adventures for Refugee Children) Project
  • ICF Center for Cross Border Philanthropy, $135,100, Building Sustainable Communities: Youth Leadership Program
  • Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles, $300,000, Camp Bob Waldorf
  • Lao Family Community Development, Inc., $299,900, Oakland Youth Access Program
  • Life Learning Academy, $50,000, Life Learning Academy’s Ecology Program
  • LifeSail, Inc., $69,278, Sail Away: A Foster Youth Ocean Adventure
  • Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, $299,916, Garden Apprenticeship Program
  • MeWater Foundation, $31,600, MeWater Youth ENGAGE Program
  • New Economics for Women, $280,000, NEW’s Explorers: Seasons of Learning and Leading
  • North East Trees, Inc., $299,964, Youth Environmental Leadership Program
  • Outdoor Outreach, $300,000, Outdoor Outreach Youth Leadership Program
  • Outward Bound Adventures, $181,800, Outward Bound Adventures’ Cultural Journey Through Gold Country
  • Paradise Recreation and Park District, $299,592, ELEMENTS
  • Project Avary, $275,000, Outdoor Leadership Program for Children with Incarcerated Parents
  • Regents of the University of California ANR, $297,471, Increasing Access to Natural and Cultural Resources Through California Naturalist Immersion Programming
  • Roberts Family Development Center, $300,000, Del Paso-North Sac Youth Nature Collaborative
  • Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians, $218,164, Robinson “Tsumai Bathen” Youth Project
  • Sacramento Native American Health Center, $300,000, Respecting Natural Native Relationships
  • Safe Passages/Advance Peace, $156,730, Transformational Excursions – Stockton
  • San Diego Canyonlands, $256,229, Canyon Connections Internship Program
  • San Joaquin County Office of Education, $300,000, Durham Ferry OEC Let’s Play Outside! Summer Camp Project
  • San Joaquin River Parkway & Conservation Trust, Inc., $63,481, Youth Parkway Ambassadors
  • Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, $63,826, Youth Leadership, Education and Exploration of Nature by Bicycle
  • Save Our Shores, $253,165, Junior Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Stewards Program
  • Sequoia Riverlands Trust (SRT), $299,933, SRT Youth Access Initiative
  • Sierra Club Foundation, $29,000, Sierra Club Angeles ICO Leaders of the Future
  • Sierra Nevada Journeys, $299,799, Tomorrow’s Youth Leaders of Color: Outdoor Mentorship Camp in the Sierra
  • Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, $260,125, GOAL (Get Outside Adventure Leadership) Program
  • Southern California Mountains Foundation, $300,000, SCMF-UCC Naturalist/Naturalista Program
  • Summer Search, $300,000, Access to Environmental Education, Leadership-Building and Outdoor Experiences for Bay Area Youth from Low-Income Backgrounds
  • The Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program, $299,824, Youth & Young Adult Forestry and Fire Pre-apprenticeship
  • The Living Desert, $291,810, Connecting Tribal Youth to Nature Via the Torres Martinez Youth Environmental Ambassadors Program
  • The Trust for Public Land, $300,000, Youth Leading Change of Buchanan Mall
  • The Village Project, Inc., $295,043, Camp Asili
  • The Watershed Project, $290,363, Building Watershed Connections – A Youth-Led Environmental Education Program
  • TreePeople, $300,000, Natural Connections
  • US Forest Service, $300,000, Understanding the Social-Economic Benefits of Educational Outdoor Recreation Programs for Underserved Youth of Color
  • Ventana Wilderness Alliance, $50,000, Youth in Wilderness Program
  • Ventana Wildlife Society, $182,424, Providing Youth with Outdoor Experiences and Empowering Them to Address Access Inequities for Their Communities
  • Ventura County Resource Conservation District, $40,426, Fillmore Fish Hatchery Garden Restoration Project
  • Watsonville Wetlands Watch, $300,000, Increasing Youth Outdoor Access Through Climate Change Leadership
  • Wiyot Tribe, $262,628, The Wiyot Tribe’s Cultural Center Youth Community Access Program
  • YES Nature to Neighborhoods, $204,215, Pathways to the Outdoors: Cultivating & Training Environmental Stewards, Leaders & Educators
  • Youth Empowerment Siskiyou, $300,000, Camp YES