STANTON, Ky. — Red River Gorge United (RRGU) has announced that it has been recently awarded a $20,000 grant from Patagonia, the outdoor apparel company founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973. For more than 45 years the Ventura, Calif.-based company has annually donated 1% of its annual revenue towards environmental advocacy and conservation projects across the world.
The $20,000 grant will support RRGU’s efforts to protect the Red River Gorge Geological Area (RRG). RRGU formed due to concerns that a resort and retail village proposed for the RRG. RRGU now consists of a fully-formed board and steering committee, comprised of local residents and business owners. The group is supported by professional consultants and technical advisors Gerry Seavo James of the Explore Kentucky Initiative (Frankfort) and SaraDay Evans of Accelerating Appalachia (Lexington) and fiscal sponsorship by Kentucky Resources Council.
RRGU’s team has launched a powerful campaign, consisting of a petition and survey. The petition garnered 35,000 signatures. The survey respondents were over 75% Kentucky residents, half from the four-county RRG region. The survey was a Phase 1 effort to begin gathering community opinion on the future of the RRG. The results from this effort are currently being analyzed and will be released in the coming weeks.
“Patagonia supports Red River Gorge United and the protection of this fragile and beautiful ecosystem that is so critical to the region,” said Sarah Ebe of Patagonia’s environmental team. “The Red River Gorge Geological area is second only to Utah for natural arches, is a world-class climbing destination, and is home to unique biodiversity and ecology that should be preserved and protected for generations to come. We are grateful for the work of Red River Gorge United to protect public land and help save our home planet.”
To support RRGU’s efforts please navigate here.