Spring Hill, Tenn. —The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USA) recently received a $35,000 grant from the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund. As part of its Work Boots on the Ground (WBG) program, the USA will combine the grant with the skills of union volunteers to complete projects that improve public access to the outdoors in Illinois, Georgia, and New Jersey.
At the William Powers State Recreation Area in Chicago, Illinois, volunteers will install a fishing pier, sidewalk, bike repair station, and floating kayak launch. In Augusta, Georgia, volunteers will relocate a public fishing pier on J. Strom Thurmond Lake. In Camden, New Jersey, volunteers will construct a kayak/boat launch at Gateway Park—an urban park that has no existing access to the waterway.
Launched in 2010, the USA’s WBG program has completed 247 projects and outreach events in 30 states. The value of volunteer labor donated through WBG has surpassed $1.6 million, while outreach events have engaged more than 13,100 participants. Grants supplement funds raised at the USA’s conservation dinners to purchase materials and equipment, thus expanding the scope and reach of USA conservation projects.
The USA received its first grant from the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund in late 2019 to support its community outreach events. To kick-off the partnership, Bass Pro Shops supported a USA-led youth fishing event celebrating the completion of a new wheelchair-accessible fishing pier at the Suncoast Youth Conservation Center in Apollo Beach, Florida.
Funds from the initial grant also supported two youth ice fishing events on Minnesota’s Coon Lake, a youth pheasant hunt in New York, four mentored white-tailed deer hunts at Pennsylvania’s John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, and a 4-day outdoor adventure camp in Tennessee.
Guided by the visionary leadership of Bass Pro founder Johnny Morris, the Outdoor Fund empowers Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s 200 million annual customers to support conservation efforts by rounding up their purchases. Rallying passionate customers alongside dedicated team members, industry partners and leading conservation organizations like the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, Bass Pro is creating North America’s largest conservation movement to collectively shape the future of the outdoors and all who love it for generations to come.
“Preserving America’s outdoor heritage begins with giving people access and opportunities to get outside and develop an appreciation for nature, especially as our nation becomes more urbanized,” said USA Executive Director and CEO Scott Vance. “The USA is excited to partner with Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s once again to complete infrastructure projects that will enable more people to fish, bike, kayak, and simply enjoy the great outdoors.”
Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA): The USA is a union-dedicated, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Work Boots on the Ground (WBG): WBG is the USA’s flagship conservation program that brings together union members willing to volunteer their time and expertise to conservation projects that improve and enhance public access to the outdoors, conserve wildlife habitat, restore America’s parks and mentor youth in the outdoors. The USA’s Work Boots on the Ground program works closely with federal, state and local agencies and other conservation groups to provide manpower needed to complete critical projects that may otherwise go undone.