Youth Access to Nature Fund

Youth Access to Nature Fund

Outdoor experiences in nature are often out of reach for children from underserved neighborhoods due to cost, transportation and other barriers. Many outdoor programs do not focus on gender, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic or cultural differences, nor do they have the capacity or technical expertise to adequately address inequities.

With leadership support from the Robert and Kathryn Riddell Fund and additional donors, our foundation launched the Youth Access to Nature Fund with a simple but powerful goal: to provide disconnected and underserved youth with outdoor experiences in nature.

Since 2016, the fund has provided thousands of Bay Area youth with the opportunity to engage in environmental education programs, explore nature and become stewards of our natural heritage. Young people have been able to see the ocean for the first time, visit the awe-inspiring redwoods, get their hands dirty in the soil and have the formative experiences in nature that all children deserve. Our hope is that meaningful experiences will help young people reach their full potential and inspire them to protect our natural resources — for themselves and for future generations.

Eligibility: The Youth Access to Nature Fund accepts grant proposals on an invitation-only basis.

Support the Youth Access to Nature Fund 
  • Make a grant from your donor advised fund
  • Send a check to the San Francisco Foundation, for the purpose: Youth Access to Nature Fund
  • Give online by selecting Youth Access to Nature under the “Choose a Fund” drop-down menu

Questions? Please contact Francesca Vietor at fvietor[at]

Oakland Goes Outdoors

Learn about Oakland Goes Outdoors, an initiative of the Youth Access to Nature Fund.

2019 Youth Access to Nature Fund Grantees

$40,000 – Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project
To provide 175 East Oakland low-income youth of color and their families with ongoing, safe, hands-on, nature-based experiences.

$25,000 – Amah Mutsun Land Trust
To reconnect Native youth to the coastal territories of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and provide culturally relevant environmental education.

$150,000 over three years – Bay Area Wilderness Training
To create access to outdoor experiences for youth of color and low-income youth from the Bay Area.

$150,000 over three years – Brothers on the Rise: Trail Brothers
To provide opportunities for low-income, urban male youth of color to explore nature through year-round excursions and rites of passage.

$25,000 – Brown Girl Surf
To engage low income girls of color in the sport of surfing via culturally relevant programs with role models from their own community.

$120,000 over three years – EarthTeam Environmental Network
To provide year-round environmental leadership and stewardship opportunities to low-income students from East Bay high schools.

$25,000 – Environmental Volunteers
To engage students in hands-on, environmental science activities through classroom programs and on field trips led by volunteer docents.

$50,000 – Friends of Peralta Hacienda Historical Park
To inspire Fruitvale youth to immerse themselves in outdoor nature activities through a summer camp and after-school program.

$120,000 over three years – GirlVentures
To empower diverse Bay Area girls through immersive outdoor expeditions and experiential education.

$25,000 – Golden Gate Audubon Society: Eco-Education
To improve the lives and learning of students and their family members in underserved communities through hands-on exploration and protection of local natural spaces.

$40,000 – Kids for the Bay
To engage elementary school students in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in hands-on environmental science education.

$30,000 – Latino Outdoors
To inspire, connect, and engage Latino communities in the outdoors and embrace cultura y familia as part of the outdoor narrative.

$120,000 over three years – Literacy for Environmental Justice: Eco Co-Adventures
To engage youth in activities that promote human health, community connections to urban green space, and climate resilience in Southeast San Francisco.

$25,000 – Outdoor Afro
To facilitate whole-community nature engagement for African-American youth and their families.

$30,000 – Planting Justice
To engage low-income youth of color in hands-on experiential, nature-based learning programs.

$35,000 – Pogo Park
To provide 5,000 children in Richmond’s Iron Triangle neighborhood with opportunities to connect with the natural world.

$25,000 – Project Avary      
To enable 135 children and teens with incarcerated parents to participate in outdoor leadership activities.

$60,000 over three years – Sama Sama Summer Camp Cooperative
To engage low-income Filipino youth in culturally-relevant experiences and leadership development opportunities in nature.

$90,000 over three years – The Student Conservation Association: Bay Area Urban Initiatives
To empower underserved urban youth through hands-on conservation projects at local parks and green spaces.

$50,000 – Ujimaa Foundation
To increase opportunities for youth in Oakland to develop their sense of self-awareness and gain life skills through outdoor activities.

$40,000 – Urban Tilth: Hoods to Woods
To provide youth of color in Richmond with daily opportunities to engage deeply with the natural world.

$150,000 over three years – The Watershed Project
To engage K-12 children in building local climate resiliency within at-risk communities in the Bay Area through hands-on outdoor and service learning experiences.

$30,000 – Wilderness Arts and Literacy Collaborative
To provide an alternative, relevant, experiential, and academically rigorous education to diverse students at two San Francisco high schools.

$150,000 over three years –YES Nature to Neighborhoods
To support year-round opportunities for underserved Richmond youth to connect to the outdoors and receive leadership training, job skills, and employment opportunities.

$150,000 over three years – Youth Outside: Outdoor Education Institute
To develop the next generation of culturally relevant outdoor leaders and professionals.