Quick Hits: June 2020

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Inspired by 30s-era Civilian Conservation Corp, Nonprofit forms the Carolina Climbers Conservation Corp

 As unemployment rates reach never-before-seen numbers, the Carolina Climbers Coalition (CCC)—a 25-year-old nonprofit dedicated to preserving the natural environment, promoting safe climbing practices and preserving climbers’ access to climbing areas in North and South Carolina—has announced the formation of the Carolina Climbing Conservation Corp (C4).

C4 will be staffed by people whose employment was affected by the pandemic. The C4 crew will be responsible for building critical trail infrastructure in the Carolinas. 

“Sustainable trails are critical to strengthening access in the Carolinas,” said Mike Reardon, Executive Director of the CCC. “Many in the climbing community have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are thrilled to create a conservation corp crew to complement our extensive volunteer stewardship efforts, which have been a hallmark of the Coalition.”

The first focus of the C4 crew will be to cut trail at the newly opened Pumpkintown wall located inside South Carolina’s Table Rock State Park. Additional work will be done at Big Rock and potentially Hickory Nut Gorge and other climbing areas across the Carolinas, if funds last. 

The CCC has initially allocated $5,000 to the C4 with an immediate goal of raising $25,000 to sustain the initiative. “These are exceptionally difficult times,” said Tom Caldwell, President of the CCC. “This is when we need to stand even stronger to support our climbing community and access, as well as invest in the future of climbing through sustainable infrastructure. We need the support of companies and individuals alike.” 

Anyone interested in donating to the C4 initiative can do so online at www.carolinaclimbers.org/c4

$10,000

Salary of Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle, who earlier in the spring drastically cut his own wage while the stalwart outdoor industry gear and apparel company continued to pay employees their regular salaries, including retail employees at shuttered stores. 

Osprey Employees Sew Masks for Healthcare Workers

To assist healthcare workers during the pandemic, Osprey, the long-standing backpacking company, shifted the production focus of its Cortez, Colorado-based warranty and repair team, who in early April started exclusively sewing fabric masks that are being distributed to nearby Southwest Memorial Hospital and their local health department. Osprey’s team has the capacity to sew 100 fabric masks a day, and the masks can be worn over N95 medical-grade masks. “In this unprecedented time, I am inspired by our team’s response,” said Layne Rigney, President of Osprey Packs. “The repair team is giving our entire company something to be proud of.”

New podcast aims to help outdoor lovers during the pandemic

Outdoor Revival, a new podcast created by a group of outdoor industry professionals, aims to help anyone and everyone who loves the outdoors better understand how they can safely and responsibly recreate during the pandemic. 

“Even though we are a band of seasoned outdoor professionals, we could not make sense of all the information and misinformation we were getting from the mainstream media,” the podcast creators said on their website (theoutdoorrevival.com). “So we decided to take it upon ourselves to seek out the top figures in the outdoor industry and create resources for all who love the outdoors but want to keep themselves as well as everyone around them safe and healthy.”  

Cover Photo: Alesha Reardon, climbing at Big Rock in South Carolina, where the C4 crew will begin work. Photo courtesy of the Carolina Climbers Coalition.

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