Esplanade Association Awarded Reebok Foundation Grant:Funds Will Help to Support Summer Programming for Underserved Youth and Families in the Greater Boston Area

The Esplanade Association (EA) is pleased to announce it has received a grant in the amount of $15,000 from The Reebok Foundation to support two youth and family outreach programs this summer: Children in the Park (ChiP) and Family Walks on the Charles River Esplanade (Family Walks).  Both programs will support underserved Boston-area families who, because of limited access to open outdoor spaces, would benefit greatly from free and easy access to the Esplanade’s recreational programming and sprawling natural resources.

Launched in 2010, the ChiP program collaborates with roughly seventy urban day camps, such as the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, to bring child campers to the Esplanade for a day of outdoor games, fun, and exploration. Many urban camps operate indoors and lack access to green space. As a result, campers and counselors relish the opportunity to play soccer and kickball, fish, enjoy water park activities, or simply explore the banks of the Charles River. All ChiP sports equipment, snacks, counselor guidance and unique events—such as Boston Bruins Day—are fully subsidized by EA.

This summer, EA is expanding its outreach through a new program, Family Walks.  Designed to engage underserved families in the Boston area, the program will introduce local families to the Esplanade, and educate them on local ecosystems and environmental concerns during a guided two-mile walk. Through this program, EA hopes to encourage outdoor family time, boost physical activity, and promote cross-community interest in preserving and caring for the Esplanade.

“We are so grateful to the Reebok Foundation for supporting our summer outreach initiatives this year,” said Tani Marinovich, EA’s Executive Director. “Both ChiP and Family Walks will introduce the Esplanade to children and families who may not know about the park or our programs, despite living just a few T stops away. Our goal is not only to educate visitors about the park and its ecosystem, but also to encourage physical activity within the park and to foster continued use and engagement.”

“The Reebok Foundation is committed to organizations that promote physical activity and fitness, and these summer programs do just that,” said Alisha Collins, Manager, The Reebok Foundation & Community Relations. “We are delighted to support a program that uses physical activity as a tool to educate and engage ‘ underserved communities.”

About the Esplanade Association

The Esplanade Association (EA) is the only private non-profit group dedicated to maintaining and improving the Charles River Esplanade. Like all public parks, the Esplanade requires ongoing care and maintenance, and throughout its existence it has gone through periods of restoration and decline.  Since its founding, EA has

been the catalyst for over $28 million in park improvements. This work has been accomplished in collaboration with the Department of Conservation and Restoration.

About the Reebok Foundation

The Reebok Foundation is committed to supporting Massachusetts-based 501 (c)(3) approved non-profits who provide youth and families from underserved communities, access to fitness and physical activity programs. The Reebok Foundation has worked with more than 500 non-profit organizations since its inception in 1986.

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