Outdoor retailer, REI recently launched a philanthropic effort to help keep hiking trails in good condition around the country called Every Trail Connects. REI pledged a half billion dollars to the cause and turned to the public in search of how to best spend the money. By opening a voting round to digital users, they announced that each vote for a possible 10 trails around the US, would garner $5 dollars towards that trail. In just over 37 hours, 100,000 votes had been cast, greatly outpacing REI’s engagement predictions.

Excited by the turnout of voters, REI has decided to pledge an additional $100,000 to the cause, allocated $10,000 to each of the ten trail options. REI CEO Jerry Stritzke recalled how, “…our members and nonprofit partners engaged in Every Trail Connects just blew us away.” He also added his respect for those who maintain and keep nature trails in top shape stating that they are, “… heros within the outdoor community…” To see the totals for funding this year, visit REI’s Website.

Their donation is just part of a $5.9 million dollar effort to improve and increase access to over 1,000 outdoor areas in the country.

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