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REI Puts $1.6 Million Toward ‘Rewilding’ 5 Big Cities

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REI will improve access to outdoor recreation through a $603,000 investment that will improve wilderness areas near five cities: Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The retailer will partner with local nonprofits to add trails, enable sustainable management and improve access to parks across the U.S.

The Rewilding Project debuted in 2015, and REI has contributed more than $1.6 million to these efforts. Programs in the five cities include:

  • Chicago: The retailer will develop mixed-use trails and a mountain bike park, among other projects, at the Big Marsh property in the city’s Southeast Side. The partnership includes the Chicago Parks Foundation, Active Transportation Alliance and Friends of Big Marsh.
  • Los Angeles: In the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument in the Angeles National Forest, REI will support sustainable access, restore trails, link urban trails and develop alternate transportation options. The projects will be overseen by the National Forest Foundation and The Wilderness Society.
  • San Francisco: When complete, the Bay Area Ridge Trail will grow from the current 365 miles to a total of 550 miles, circumnavigating the Bay Area. The co-op’s investment will support the Bay Area Ridge Council.
  • Seattle: The company will help The Greenway Trust maintain the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River wilderness area by building trails and facilities and helping develop a model for locally driven cooperative land management.
  • Washington, D.C.: A more than 500-mile multi-use trail network will be created through a partnership with the Capital Trails Coalition, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land. This project will connect existing trails with new paths and extend alternative forms of transportation to more communities.

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