L.L.Bean Donates $40,000 to Wildlands Conservancy
Center Valley, PA, October 26, 2006 – Wildlands Conservancy, the leading conservation organization in the Lehigh Valley, is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with the renowned outdoor equipment outfitter L.L.Bean that will result in an educational benefit to every school district in the Lehigh River Valley. L.L.Bean's 95-year commitment to environmental stewardship and business practices, and their active support of nonprofit organizations that strive to safeguard the outdoor experience and protect the environment has led to this joint venture with Wildlands Conservancy.
Wildlands Conservancy will receive a gift valued at $40,000 from L.L.Bean, Inc. in support of their Bike and Boat program. The company's Senior Vice President and General Manager of Retail, Ken Kacere, will announce the gift on Friday, October 27, at the grand opening of L.L.Bean's Lehigh Valley store at the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley. Local legislators, company representatives and school children who have participated in the program will attend. Wildlands Conservancy's president and members of the board will be on hand to accept the gift.
Chris Kocher, president of Wildlands Conservancy, states, "This gift will enable Wildlands Conservancy to continue to foster stewardship of our irreplaceable natural resources in the hearts of school-age students throughout the Lehigh River valley. In addition, this gift demonstrates L.L.Bean's commitment to the Lehigh Valley and the protection of its natural environment."
Wildlands Conservancy's Bike & Boat Program is an innovative program utilizing the riparian zone of the Lehigh River as an outdoor classroom. The Bike & Boat program provides school-age students with a positive education experience in the environment by promoting understanding and stewardship of the natural resources around them. Participants engage in a day-long exploration of the Lehigh River by canoe with educational stops on river islands that are used as laboratory locations to conduct chemical, physical and biological assessments of the health of the waterway. Upon completion of the canoe portion of the trip, the children bicycle along the Lehigh Navigational Canal towpath for additional activities focusing on the unique cultural, historical, natural science and ecological aspects of the watershed. In addition, the educational programming is aligned with the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology.
L.L.Bean's gift will provide for the upgrade of the organization's bike and canoe equipment and will offset a portion of the administrative costs of the program. An additional cash contribution will establish the L.L.Bean Bike & Boat Fund. The fund will provide financial assistance to local school districts and students who might otherwise not have the opportunity to participate.
L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading retailer of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. While its business has grown substantially, L.L.Bean still upholds the values of its founder and continues his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors.
As noted in its updated vision statement, Wildlands Conservancy is dedicated to saving the natural treasures of the Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh River valley – now and for future generations. Its mission is to preserve, protect, restore and enhance the land, water, ecological and recreational resources of the Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh River valley.
Established in 1973, the Conservancy collaborates with partners throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to achieve its goals. As a nonprofit, member-supported organization, the Conservancy has protected more than 45,000 acres of critical farmland and wildlands in eastern Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit www.wildlandspa.org.