Access Fund Increases Climbing Conservation Grants

Access Fund is excited to announce that we will increase our Climbing Conservation Grant Program from $40,000 a year to $55,000 a year to meet the growing need for climbing area conservation and strengthen local climbing advocates.

Climbing advocates and land managers work together to install a fence, funded by the Access Fund Climbing Conservation Grant Program, to curtail the expanding damage from parking and camping at the popular Aspen Glades area at Wild Iris, Wyoming. Photo courtesy of Lauren Heerschap and Lee Powell.

“The on-the-ground need to protect and restore our climbing areas is growing larger every day,” says Joe Sambataro, Access Director at Access Fund. "We are committed to supporting local climbing organizations, advocates, and land managers with resources to face these challenges. In recent years, the growing requests for conservation grants have exceeded available funds, requiring our grants committee to make some tough choices.”

Each year Access Fund puts money back into local climbing communities across the country through the Climbing Conservation Grant Program, awarding funds to projects that preserve or enhance climbing access and conserve the climbing environment across the United States. The program funds a range of projects, including climbing area stewardship, climber education, acquisition of new climbing areas, research projects, and the organization and capacity-building of local climbing organizations.

The Climbing Conservation Grant Program has been in place since the organization’s inception in 1991. Over the last 28 years, the program has awarded over $1.2 million to 359 projects that have helped local climbing communities and land managers protect and improve climbing areas. Access Fund members help make this grant program possible through their generous donations, and members have the opportunity to review and rate grant projects each year.

Thanks to a generous commitment from First Ascent Charitable Foundation, Access Fund has increased the grant fund by $15,000 and will now award $55,000 a year to support local climbing conservation and advocacy projects.

“We are incredibly grateful to First Ascent Charitable Foundation for helping Access Fund meet the growing need for climbing conservation,” says Chris Winter, Executive Director at Access Fund. “We are committed to moving resources into our local climbing communities to promote conservation, and we are looking for new ways to expand our impact.”

Now Accepting Applications for Winter Cycle

The application process for the winter grant cycle is now officially open, and Access Fund invites the community to submit grant applications. We welcome applications from local climbing organizations, government agencies, conservation organizations, land trusts, and individuals. If you are interested in applying for a grant, your group's efforts should be action-oriented with specific objectives, a detailed budget, and measures for evaluating success. Learn more about the Climbing Conservation Grant Program and application process.