Press Release

Bay Area Wilderness Training Receives $420,000 Grant from Riddell Family to Support Oakland Goes Outdoors Initiative

Oakland, CA (August 4, 2022) — The Riddell Family with the San Francisco Foundation recently awarded a substantial grant to Bay Area Wilderness Training, an Oakland-based nonprofit camping gear library and wilderness skills training organization. The grant will enable Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT) to provide more than 3,600 projected Oakland Unified School District students access to BAWT’s camping-gear library free of charge and to train more than 60 teachers in how to lead Oakland’s youth on transformative experiences in nature as part of the Oakland Goes Outdoors initiative.

2022/23 marks the fourth academic year BAWT has partnered with Oakland Goes Outdoors (OGO) to provide teachers with Frontcountry Leadership, Backcountry Leadership, and Wilderness First Aid training. Oakland Goes Outdoors was launched in 2019 by the San Francisco Foundation. The program is a partnership between the San Francisco Foundation, the Oakland Public Education Fund, the Oakland Unified School District, and Bay Area Wilderness Training. BAWT’s training will prepare teachers to be well-equipped to handle the practical and logistical necessities in a nurturing, inclusive environment for youth who have likely not had experience away from urban areas.

“This grant will have a long-lasting, positive impact on the youth in our community. Our work with Oakland Goes Outdoors is an investment in the teachers and youth of Oakland that will create a positive impact with the next generation of leaders in addition to increasing access to and representation in the outdoors,” said Zulma Terrones, executive director of Bay Area Wilderness Training. “We are grateful to the Riddell Family and the San Francisco Foundation for their support.”

As a project of Earth Island Institute, Bay Area Wilderness Training is an environmental and social justice organization committed to dismantling racism, sexism, classism, and other forms of oppression that stand in the way of all people fully participating in outdoor activities. We strive to create more equity and increase access to the outdoors for traditionally underrepresented communities, and we prioritize services for low-income youth and youth of color. We work to ensure that our programs, organizational practices, and partnerships are inclusive and support these ideals and priorities.

Contact: Genevieve Gandal, BAWT director of development,, (510) 452-2298.