OSI Receives Grant to Provide Training to Skowhegan Community Members


By Mike Smith, Executive Director

The Outdoor Sport Institute (OSI), a Maine-based (501c3) nonprofit organization focused on strengthening communities through outdoor sport is pleased to announce it has received a $25,000 grant from the American Beverage Foundation (ABF) for a Healthy America. This funding will be used to support trainings for Skowhegan community members that will increase opportunities for activities like kayaking, canoeing, and mountain biking in the area.

Through the partnership with Skowhegan, OSI is working with several organizations including Main St Skowhegan, and the new Skowhegan Americorp Outdoor Recreation Program on focused development in four key areas – outdoor recreation resources, infrastructure, programming, and leadership. The goal is to create a framework that supports the community in creating a sustainable, active outdoor culture from within.

The ABF grant is being used to support a series of trainings for local teens and adults taking on advocacy, mentorship, and leadership roles in new outdoor activities ranging from paddle sports like whitewater kayaking, to mountain biking, to hiking and trail running. “The community team in Skowhegan, lead by Kristina Cannon and Main St Skowhegan, has been working hard to create their plan to build a more active, outdoor culture,” said OSI Assistant Director Joshua Firmin.  “Much of that plan centers on the Run of River Project, so our initial trainings this summer have focused on water-based activities.”

“We are very excited to be supporting the Skowhegan Community Partnership, and especially the effort to improve outdoor sports opportunities for kids," said Newell Augur, executive director of the Maine Beverage Association, one of the grant funders.  "We believe the program will have a beneficial impact on the physical and environmental health of the Skowhegan Community."

“Funding from the ABA is integral to providing outdoor recreation training opportunities in Skowhegan," said Kristina Cannon, executive director of Main Street Skowhegan. "Thanks to these grant dollars, Skowhegan community members have the opportunity to train with OSI —giving locals a chance to hone their skills and grow their knowledge base in being advocates, mentors, and leaders in outdoor sport.”

To learn more about these trainings, and join Skowhegan’s community effort, visit www.outdoorsportinstitute.org.

The mission of OSI is to strengthen communities through outdoor sport, and explore outdoor sport through community. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization working to:

  • Build a community’s capacity to envision and create an active, outdoor culture

  • Build capacity of teens and adults to serve as outdoor sport advocates, mentors & leaders where they live

  • Foster relationships across generations within the community through outdoor sport

  • Use outdoor sport to teach skills that foster self-determination capacities including but not limited to self-efficacy, self-confidence, resilience, discipline, risk management, judgment, and decision making.

Amy Falcione