Advocacy & Adventure Alliance Grants
POW Alliance Members have dedicated a lot of time and work over the years to climate advocacy in order to protect our outdoor playgrounds. Now it’s our turn to give back to them. The Advocacy & Adventure Alliance Grants program supports films, events, journalism, research, grassroots campaigns, workshops and adventure for our Alliance Members. These grants coupled with their passion for the outdoors will support their efforts to protect the places we live and love from the threat of climate change. We’re stoked to announce 2022 Advocacy & Adventure Alliance Grant recipients and their projects, and even more stoked to see the finished products next year.
Phil Henderson – Full Circle Everest
About Phil: California native, climber and POW Athlete Alliance Member, Phil Henderson, has worked in the outdoor industry for nearly three decades. He worked for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) for over 20 years and in 2013 became the second African American to summit Denali. His passion for outdoor recreation, education and climbing has provided him with opportunities to travel, climb and ski around the world. Over the past two and a half decades he has spent many hours volunteering for several youth programs in the United States, exposing young people from around the country to our natural environment. Additionally, he has been instrumental in teaching technical skills training to guides and porters around the world in Nepal, Kenya and Tanzania.
About the Project: In 2022, the Full Circle Everest group of climbers will make history as the first all Black team to attempt to summit the highest mountain on earth. The Full Circle Everest Team represents a zenith in generational perseverance. This expedition will showcase the tenacity and strength of these climbers, and highlight the barriers that continue to exist for Black communities in accessing the outdoors. This historic attempt will inspire the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts, educators, leaders, and mountaineers of color to continue chasing their personal summits.
Kit Delauriers – The Last Great Expanse
About Kit: Kit Deslauriers is a professional ski mountaineer, long time member of the POW Ski Alliance and 18 year member of The North Face Global Athlete Team. After becoming the first person to ski the Seven Summits (2006), Kit became a mother to two daughters and re-engaged into expedition skiing. Her primary focus is on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Northeast Alaska where she has made first ski descents of some of the highest peaks as well as contributed to glacier and peak mapping projects. Kit has served on the board of Directors for Alaska Wilderness League as a part of her dedication to protecting that landscape from oil and gas drilling. Kit’s home is in Teton Village, Wyoming, where she regularly skis the Tetons and is the first woman to solo ski the Grand Teton as well as Gannett Peak, the highest in Wyoming.
About the Project: The Last Great Expanse is a two-part expedition with Stage One beginning in late April 2022 where the team will ski self-supported across a portion of Alaska’s Coastal Plain currently planned for seismic oil and gas exploration. The team will conduct snow depth measurements in a citizen science based approach to help determine if actual snow depths are in the range cited as acceptable for oil exploration by BLM in their Record of Decision. Kit and POW Athlete Alliance Member, Hilaree Nelson’s, previous travels on snow across the Coastal Plain have informed their hypothesis that the snow depths they find will not meet the stated minimum of either a nine inch average, or three inches over the highest tussocks. Stage Two will be comprised of the team skiing north into the Romanzof Mountains to Mt. Hubley, the second highest mountain in the Brooks Range. On previous expeditions, Kit and Hilaree have completed ski descents of the first, third, fourth and fifth highest mountains in the Range. During this Last Great Expanse Expedition, they plan to make a first ski descent of Mt. Hubley by becoming the first persons to ski the five highest mountains in the Brooks Range/U.S. Arctic.
Jonnah Perkins – Backyard Stories
About Jonnah: POW Trail Athlete, writer, producer, photographer and farmer, Jonnah Perkins, is based in southwest Wisconsin. She found trail running after the birth of her first child and was soon podiuming ultra-distance races across the country. After over a decade working in agriculture at her family’s CSA farm and producing organic potato seeds, she has gained access and insight into the power of food and the reverence for our landscapes to shape movements, cultures and ecological solutions. Jonnah’s work focuses on the intersection of food, agriculture, climate change, adventure and conservation for publications and organizations including Patagonia, Beside, Whalebone, Outside TV, Trail Runner, Civil Eats, HIHEYHELLO, The Drake, Savory Institute and USDA. When she’s not on the farm, you’ll find Jonnah exploring on foot and reporting stories in the field where natural resource management and food systems collide.
About the Project: The Backyard Stories series follows five athlete and athlete-farmers on an adventure on their home trails to learn why their landscape is meaningful to them and what ecological threats it faces. Trail Runner Magazine will feature this collection of stories through an audio dispatch, written story and photography created by Jonnah. Through vulnerable narratives of those stewarding and protecting our wild and cultivated lands, we learn how we can all have a closer relationship with our home playgrounds while generating momentum for national and global action in the fight against climate change.
Vanessa Chavarriga – Comida de la Vida
About Vanessa: Vanessa is an environmental sociologist and Colombiana who focuses on the intersection of people and nature. As an immigrant and woman of color herself, she recognizes the systemic barriers that purposefully keep BIPOC out of outdoor spaces. Vanessa did not grow up with access to the outdoors. She is now able to experience outdoor activities and feel a sense of freedom she had been searching for a long time. Now, taking up space in the outdoor community feels revolutionary. Vanessa’s favorite activities are trail running, mountaineering, skiing, foraging, and swimming in really cold lakes. She speaks up against systemic racism, colorism, anti-Blackness and anti-Indigeneity in the Latinx community and beyond. She is involved with multiple environmental sociology projects including food sovereignty, education and decolonization and grizzly bear coexistence.
About the Project: The United States has become a land of many cultures, peoples and ways of life. We have become a mesh of beautiful peoples and yet we sometimes forget to celebrate our differences, instead choosing to act the same, dress the same and sometimes even eat the same. Inside every niche, every industry, the same conversations, same clothing and same food seem to be endless. In this short film, Vanessa will explore what it is to celebrate what sets you apart, to find success in small moments of joy and to honor your culture. The film will also embody how she brings her culture into everything she does by showcasing her personal story of immigration, activism, science and love for outdoor sports.
Kurt Refsnider – Restoring Tahoe Trails: Post-Caldor Fire
About Kurt: Kurt Refsnider is among the most accomplished ultra endurance mountain bikers in the world. He has won and/or set records in each of the most prestigious ultra races in the U.S. over the past decade, including events held on singletrack, snow and gravel. He’s also a professional cycling coach and served as the Founding Executive Director of the Bike-packing Roots 501(c)(3) non-profit, an organization dedicated to supporting and advocating for the bike-packing community and the places they ride. Kurt has an academic background, holding a Ph.D. in geology with expertise in landscape evolution, glacial geology, and climate change and he was on the faculty of Prescott College for six years. Kurt lives in Prescott, Arizona, where hotter summers and drier winters are gradually destroying the ponderosa pine forests through drought stress and wildfires. As a professional athlete, Kurt is eager to guide others to understand the value and history of wild places and public lands and that for endurance athletes, these places can be a powerful source of inspiration.
About the Project: In September 2020, the Caldor Fire burned 222,000 acres of the South Lake Tahoe area, including 35 miles of mountain bike trails and parts of the iconic “Rose to Toads” and “Lake Trail” long-distance mountain bike routes. This project involves (1) organizing a trail work weekend to restore one section of burned trail, (2) a speaking event to bring the mountain bike and broader trails community together around sustainable trails/recreation and climate action and (3) a short film project to document the impacts of the fire on the trail community and highlight the restoration challenges that Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Alliance (TAMBA) faces. Kurt will use the film to raise awareness and support for TAMBA’s forthcoming efforts in restoring trails to their former world-class status and how climate impacts like this force trail organizations to focus on rebuilding “old” trails rather than creating more miles of “new” trails. As members of the POW Athlete Alliance, he will use the film as an avenue to help mountain bikers connect the importance of taking global climate action to address the threats faced by the western United States’ mountain biking resources and the ever-increasing value and role of trail organizations in stewarding trails in a changing climate and landscape.
Len Necefer – Get Out The Vote with Sonoran Avalanche Center
About Len: Dr. Len Necefer, Ph.D. is the CEO & Founder of NativesOutdoors – a native owned outdoor media, apparel, and consulting company. Previous to this role Len has worked for the U.S. Department of Energy and most recently the University of Arizona. The mission of NativesOutdoors is simple: they are in business to empower indigenous communities through our products and storytelling for a sustainable world. Their films and stories have been featured in over 50 film festivals globally and multiple national news outlets.
About the Project: What does an avalanche center do when the snow is gone forever? Make memes and get out the vote for climate. For decades Mt. Lemmon, located near Tucson, Arizona, has held the title of the southernmost ski resort in North America. You can see Mexico from the top of its only lift. Mt. Lemmon’s astonishing four weeks of the West’s finest corn skiing has deteriorated over the decades due to a warming climate. Now it’s a miracle if the mountain opens at all. The Sonoran Avalanche Center was born from the ashes of the burnt sticks of P-Tex and the Saguaros of Mt. Lemmon following a devastating wildfire in 2020. There’s never been enough snow to give a meaningful forecast and that will most likely continue to be the case in the future. Instead the Sonoran Avalanche Center’s role is to motivate people in northern latitudes to get out to vote for climate. For 2022 the Sonoran Avalanche Center will leverage its meme armada to create compelling and engaging content to get people to vote in the midterm elections.