Outdoor Recreation Division Announces New Outdoor Equity Fund

Outdoor Recreation Division Announces New Outdoor Equity Fund Main Photo

18 May 2020

SANTA FE, N.M. – Applications for the Outdoor Equity Fund to support New Mexico's outdoor recreation economy opened and are available online, Director of the Outdoor Recreation Division Axie Navas announced today. The deadline to apply is August 1, 2020.

The first-of-its-kind Outdoor Equity Fund was created to allow all youth equitable access to the outdoors. The grant will support transformative outdoor experiences that foster stewardship and respect for New Mexico’s land, water, and cultural heritage. Spending time outside is now more important than ever for mental and physical well-being, and for that reason, the Outdoor Equity Fund will only invest in programs that abide by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s public health orders.

Successful applicants will adhere to all social distancing and group-size guidelines, as well as any other regulations currently in place throughout the state. Applicants must include these guidelines in their educational and recreational plan proposals.

Grants of $1,500 to $15,000 will be awarded to local government, state agencies, tribes, pueblos, and nonprofits who have a plan to educate low-income youth (age 18 and under) about climate change and the environment as part of its outdoor recreation program.

“Appreciation for the beauty of New Mexico has never been greater," said Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the Economic Development Department. "We hope the equity grants will help the next generation learn from these natural places.”

“With this grant program, the Outdoor Recreation Division is creating a way for communities across the state to get their kids outside and build access to New Mexico's incredible natural resources,” Navas said. "The mental and physical health benefits that come from getting into nature are now more important than ever before."

“The benefits of playing outside are many—from mental and physical health gains, to building community, to learning outdoor skills, to understanding the natural world and the impacts of a changing climate,” Rep. Angelica Rubio, who helped create the Outdoor Equity Fund, said. “When New Mexico takes care of its youth, it takes care of its future."

The Outdoor Recreation Division is a division of the New Mexico Economic Development Department. In its first year (2019), the ORD granted two $50,000 grants to business incubators that proposed the best programs to assist early stage outdoor companies. The awards went to San Juan College Enterprise Center in Farmington and Creative Startups in Santa Fe. The incubators have developed eight Outdoor Recreation LABS in rural libraries across the state.

Apply here.

You can also learn more about the ORD grant programs here:

2020 Outdoor Recreation Grant Programs (English version)

2020 División de la Recreación al Aire Libre (en Español)

Learn more about the Outdoor Recreation Division at www.NMOutside.com. Please forward your questions about the programs to Axie Navas, Director of the Outdoor Recreation Division, at 505-660-5992 or email Alexandra.Navas@state.nm.us.


The Outdoor Recreation Division is a division of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, whose mission is to improve the lives of New Mexico families by increasing economic opportunities and providing a place for businesses to thrive.