Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation funds free public nature education supply kits

The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation awarded a $1,000 mini-grant to Wandering Washtenaw on September 9, 2018 to fund the creation of publicly available backpacks filled with nature education supplies.

Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation trustees present Elizabeth Keller of Wander Packs with a $1,000 mini-grant.

Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation trustees present Elizabeth Keller of Wander Packs with a $1,000 mini-grant.

Wandering Washtenaw is a new organization founded by Washtenaw County residents Elizabeth Keller, Joshua Arnold, and Mark Keller. Its mission is building interest in natural area stewardship by encouraging families, groups, and individuals to explore local nature areas. Wandering Washtenaw currently maintains a user-friendly website that highlights Washtenaw County nature areas and allows users to easily find parks and nature preserves that best match their needs. Wandering Washtenaw’s latest project is to create “Wander Packs” – adventure backpacks filled with supplies to enhance children’s and adults’ experiences in nature and provide opportunities for education.

Wandering Washtenaw’s goal is to stock public libraries and schools in Washtenaw County with two to four Wander Packs each to loan out just as they do books and educational kits. Awesome Foundation grant funds will be used to purchase 15 to 20 Wander Packs and stock them with supplies including (but not limited to) binoculars, bug kits, butterfly nets, Michigan bird and wildflower guidebooks, trail maps, compasses, and solar-powered flashlights. Visit WanderingWashtenaw.com for more details.

The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation is the Ann Arbor chapter of the Boston-based micro-philanthropic organization known as the Awesome Foundation. Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. These micro-grants, $1,000 or the local equivalent, come out of the pockets of the chapter’s “trustees” and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.