Timucuan Parks Foundation is asking for votes in the REI Loving Our Local Outdoors Campaign

REI Co-Op Members can vote to raise money for the nonprofit

Timucuan Parks Foundation is one of three local nonprofit organizations chosen to receive funding for their environmental stewardship program from REI, and co-op members can help. From now through April 8, REI members who shop in the local store at 4862 Big Island Drive in the St. Johns Town Center can help REI decide how the company allocates its regional philanthropy budget. It is part of the company’s Loving Our Local Outdoors campaign.

When a member makes a purchase at the local store, they will receive a token. Members will be asked to vote with that token for one of three local nonprofits who help preserve, protect, and provide access to the natural spaces in and around Jacksonville. Funding will be distributed based on the number of tokens each of the nonprofits receive.

“We are asking REI members to please vote for Timucuan Parks Foundation,” said Mark Middlebrook, executive director of TPF. “We support city, state and national parks throughout Jacksonville, and the funds we raise help support our efforts. Jacksonville has the largest urban park system in the United States, and we host hundreds of volunteers annually who help us with environmental projects to keep those spaces maintained and accessible for visitors.”

REI and TPF have had a partnership for the last six years with REI providing grants that have helped build and maintain TPF’s environmental stewardship program. The two share a mutual goal to introduce new audiences to the outdoors and to bring awareness to the area’s many preservation parks and the extensive network of trails and waterways for walking, biking and kayaking.

Middlebrook said, “REI has been instrumental in helping us build a strong volunteer program to get people outdoors. They do this by not only providing funding but also by helping us get the word out about our volunteer projects through their website and regularly sending employees to help. They also provide promotional items for our volunteers as a thank you for coming out and supporting our parks. We very much appreciate REI and its local staff.”

REI’s Loving Our Local Outdoors campaign will invest $1 million nationwide. Locally, members will help them decide how to invest $5,000 between the three projects. Members must make their purchases in-store. An REI lifetime membership is $20 and can be purchased in-store or online at www.rei.com.