MEC has supported dozens of CPAWS conservation projects over two decades of environmental granting. Since 2004, we've provided core funding to the national office to strengthen the CPAWS voice for wilderness conservation. Through ongoing support of CPAWS' direct advocacy for a healthy network of parks and protected areas, as well as campaigns such as the Boreal Rendezvous and the Nahanni Forever Tour, MEC is helping CPAWS realize its vision for wilderness protection in Canada.
MEC has partnered with the CAC for more than a decade. Since 2001 we've supported Public Safety Programs and we donate thousands of dollars a year to help deliver their free Public Avalanche Bulletin. We have also partnered with them to provide a free avalanche forecast application in addition to being the Presenting Partner of their Avalanche Skill Training (AST) program – we send staff members for AST training, and provide space in stores for the course classroom component. Our partnership helps us provide MEC members with information and training critical to safer enjoyment of the winter backcountry.
Since 1906, the ACC has been Canada's national mountain organization. They share many objectives, with MEC including inspiring and enabling Canadians to climb, mountaineer, and pursue alpine activities. As an official benefactor, MEC provides the ACC with thousands of dollars every year toward their core operations and youth programming. Across Canada, an extensive system of alpine and backcountry huts, and their regional club sections create a vibrant, active outdoor community.
We've partnered with Parks Canada to develop a national Learn to Camp initiative. This initiative aims to instil the confidence in participants to camp on their own and to find enjoyment in camping while connecting to experiences at Parks Canada's places.
The international Mountain Bicycling Association Canada (IMBA Canada) are committed to providing and enhancing access to high-quality mountain biking experiences in communities across Canada while growing the participation of Canadians in the sport. Our annual donation to IMBA Canada not only helps support their core funding, but also helps deliver the popular Take a Kid Mountain Biking events which challenges families, bike clubs and youth groups to organize a kids mountain bike ride, festival or event in their local community.
The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) are committed to nurturing a culture of outdoor adventure in Canada. Further, they share a commitment to providing Canadian youth the opportunity to develop outdoor skills and experience. Kids were meant to play outside and seek adventures. But some activities, because of local regulations, liability concerns or just common sense are best led by a certified outdoor guide or instructor. MEC and the ACMG run the Adventure Access Program that provides subsidized opportunities for ACMG guides and instructors to work with schools, clubs, and other youth groups to ensure everyone has the opportunity to keep space for adventure in their lives.
A group of outdoor educators from across the country approached us, looking to establish the highly regarded Leave No Trace program in Canada. This not-for-profit organization promotes and inspires responsible outdoor recreation in Canada's wild spaces.
To get Leave No Trace Canada started, we provided seed funding, took a seat on their steering committee, and helped build their infrastructure. To strengthen their roots in Canada we continue to sponsor workshops and courses, and encourage our staff to become Master Educators. We're committed to ensuring they continue to grow and flourish and ultimately teach Canadians that even small changes in behavior have monumental impacts on the outdoors.
POW is a global non-profit dedicated to fighting climate change on behalf of the winter sports community. MEC has joined with them to mobilize Canadian snowsports enthusiasts and to increase awareness about climate change. This partnership is all about keeping the snow in snowsports and engaging Canadians on the very real threat that climate change poses to winter recreation in Canada.
Each of our stores also partner with local community groups to inspire participation, facilitate public access, and promote responsible use of outdoor areas.
In 2007, we joined 1% for the Planet, an alliance of businesses that believe in providing financial support to environmental initiatives. For more detailed information about our membership, visit our 1% for the Planet page.
The Conservation Alliance's mission is to engage businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places that have habitat and recreation values. MEC is a proud member of the Conservation Alliance who directs all our membership dues to community-based campaigns that work to protect threatened wild habitat, preferably where outdoor enthusiasts recreate.
MEC is a proud member of this effective network. It allows environmental grantmakers in Canada to collaborate; access training and professional development; and share information, research, and communications. Working within this network allows us all to strengthen the environmental funding sector in Canada and ultimately the environment itself.