Athletic Brewing Co., Milford, Conn., announced that more than 200 recipients have received more than $1.6 million as part of its Two For The Trails grant program in 2023.
Established in 2018 as a founding principle of the Athletic Brewing business plan, Two For The Trails is an annual environmental grant program. To date, the program has awarded nearly 400 grants totaling $4.3 million and helped to fund more than 500 projects in 43 U.S. states, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
At the heart of Athletic Brewing’s mission to greatly impact its communities and the environment for the better is Two For The Trails, which pays homage to co-founder and CEO Bill Shufelt's family practice of toasting post-trail adventures with two brews. Athletic, which achieved Certified B Corporation status in 2022, has committed to donating up to $2 million annually to protect and restore local trails, waterways, and urban greenspaces around the world.
“The aim of Two For The Trails is to improve outdoor access for generations to come by directly supporting organizations, both large and small, that are working to protect the trails, forests, and crucial natural landscapes essential to our communities,” Shufelt said in a statement. “This year, we’re thrilled to be assisting over 200 nonprofit projects that are working to enhance and protect these outdoor spaces across nearly all 50 states.”
One of those nonprofits, The Appalachian Mountain Club — the nation’s longest-serving conservation and recreation organization — is the only organization to receive funding from Athletic every year since its Two For The Trails program launched. Using Two For The Trails funds, The Appalachian Mountain Club has embarked on an Indigenous History Exploration Project along the New England National Scenic Trail in an effort to cultivate equity and justice in outdoor recreation.
“Funding from Athletic enabled us to begin the Indigenous History Exploration Project which is engaging communities with vital yet often unrecognized history, creating networks with Tribes, and revitalizing Trail culture by reconnecting communities to ancestral lands,” said Alexandra Molnar, The Appalachian Mountain Club’s manager for corporate and foundation engagement.
Meanwhile, first-time grant recipient, Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition, is building a shared‐use Class I trail consisting of 47 scenic family‐friendly miles that reaches more than 522,000 users and has shifted 12% of the cars off State Route 29. Athletic Brewing is contributing to funding a critical gap of 13.5 miles between Yountville and Saint Helena.
“I’ve always been passionate about conservation and outdoor recreation, and I’m incredibly grateful to work with a company that is committed to giving back,” said Cara Wilson, Athletic Brewing B Corp and Two for the Trails manager. “The Two For The Trails program allows us to provide essential funding to groups that are dedicated to enhancing and protecting the quality of outdoor spaces in the communities where our customers live, work and adventure.”
Two For The Trails was established to help cover funding gaps on outdoor projects that have a transformative impact on local and national communities. Athletic Brewing accepts applications to fund projects related to trail construction and maintenance, waterway protection, environmental education, and stewardship each year. Athletic Brewing’s 2023 donations are set to impact an estimated 32 million outdoor enthusiasts.
The next Two For The Trails grant period will open in the summer of 2024.