Connect youth to outdoors

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, December 9, 2017

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

The Virginia Wildlife Grant Program just awarded 27 projects totaling just over $55,000 that will impact almost 10,000 youth. Out of those, 11 projects connect with at-risk youth. Projects integrated activities among fishing, archery, wildlife viewing, boating, shooting sports, hunting, and trapping and spanned the entire Commonwealth from the mountains to the sea. Over the last four years, the Grant Program has funded 128 projects.

The Virginia Wildlife Grant Program, launched in 2014, provides a funding source to non-profits, schools, and government agencies with a focus to connect youth to the outdoors and is a partnership effort between the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia. Support of the Grant Program is generated through the sale of gear and other merchandise from, the One Shot Turkey Hunt Fundraiser, and private contributions.

This year, Richmond Ford’s Ron Kody generously donated $7,000 to the program; $2,000 more than 2016. The agency is ever appreciative for this contribution and hopes it will entice others to support getting even more youth outdoors. The focus of this contribution is supporting wildlife viewing and boating programs in the Richmond area at Maymont Foundation, Gap4Lyfe Mentorship Program, James River Park, and Virginia Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments in the Richmond area.

“We’ve enjoyed our partnership with the Foundation and believe in the importance of getting our youth outdoors and enabling them to experience the incredible wildlife we have here in Virginia. It’s so exciting and rewarding to make an impact in these young people’s lives.” said Ron Kody, owner of Richmond Ford.

Also, this year The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia contributed $5,000 to the grant program, in an effort to broaden the scope of impact throughout the state. WFV Executive Director Jenny West noted that “WFV runs many important initiatives, from land acquisition for public access, to Wounded Warrior and youth hunts. Connecting kids to Virginia’s rich natural resources and remarkable outdoor sporting opportunities is one of the most impactful ways we can make a difference, and we are proud to help this program continue to grow.” Thank you to all the grantees and donors for making 2017 memorable and for the future kid connections to the outdoors.

To get more information about the DGIF Grant Program, please visit