Flagstaff, Ariz. – Mountain Sports Flagstaff kicks off Advocate Weeks this weekend in support of Terra BIRDS, a local youth gardening organization. The collaboration is part of “1% for the Planet” through which the outdoor retailer has contributed over $100,000 to local conservation and environmental organizations to date. Terra BIRDS works with over 450 elementary students in the Flagstaff Unified School District, teaching them environmental stewardship, personal wellness and applied science as they work as gardeners on their school grounds.
For every pair of footwear purchased, Mountain Sports Flagstaff located one hour and twenty minutes from the Grand Canyon and Patagonia Footwear will grant $20 to Terra BIRDS during Advocates Weeks from now until May 18th. Giving to local environmental education and conservation groups is an integral part of Mountain Sports Flagstaff’s community-minded philosophy and, “is something we’ve been doing for a long time, and now we’re telling the story,” said Lisa Lamberson, Mountain Sports Flagstaff’s general manager.
Mountain Sports Flagstaff also celebrates 40 years in business. They’ve been part of the Flagstaff community since 1980 after expanding that year from an original store in Wyoming. “I think the giving we do fits our long-term view,” said owner Mark Lamberson, Mountain Sports Flagstaff. “It has always been important to me to have the store, the staff and myself actively involved in local community projects.”
“Terra BIRDS is grateful for the support from Mountain Sports Flagstaff, a locally owned family business and Patagonia, a company that exemplifies sustainability,” said John Taylor of Terra BIRDS.
Terra BIRDS is a team of educators, professional gardeners and youth advocates that offer programs based around the themes of:
- stewardship of the environment,
- personal wellness,
- community strength and resiliency,
- and occupational success.
Through the years, the Mountain Sports Flagstaff team has come to realize that while the funds raised from their customers’ purchases are vital to the many local conservation and environmental education groups, as important are the educational outreach opportunities and getting customers involved. Mountain Sports has received feedback from partnering organizations that the downtown Flagstaff location is vital for education and outreach, perhaps even more important than the dollars raised. Mark Lamberson said that over the two-week period of Advocate Weeks, they expect about 2,000 people to walk through the door. “That’s the education opportunity,” he explained.
“The Advocate Weeks are an opportunity for us to recognize one of the many environmental organizations we support,” said Brittany Montague, Mountain Sports Flagstaff’s sales floor manager emphasizing that through Advocate Weeks and “1% for the Planet,” Mountain Sports Flagstaff focuses on involving their customers.
Terra BIRDS educates and empowers youth through gardening to help prepare them as stewards of a sustainable future for humanity. The group also leads the greenhouse and sustainability program at Ponderosa High School, focusing on hands-on, real-world training to develop science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) skills while modeling sustainability and exploring career paths. Terra BIRDS, through its BIRDS@Work program, provides green collar jobs for at-risk youth and assists them with vocational and life skills development and on-the-job training.